If you did not know, there is a lot of variation from state to state about what is actually legal in the realm of cannabis. Some states have very strict policies, like Texas and Idaho, that do not allow any form of marijuana to be sold or used in the state. Other states are more in the middle that take advantage of medical marijuana programs but do not permit the recreational use for adults. Some states, who are a bit on the crazy side, fully embrace the idea of cannabis and allow anyone over the age of 21 to buy and use cannabis as much as they want to (however, some states have caps on the amount of weed you can buy or own at one time).
With all that being said, some states just do not seem to like the idea of cannabis. No matter how hard we fight to get marijuana legalized on the federal level, there are always states that push back and wish to see marijuana gone. We now know that Arizona is going to be problematic in this sense as well.
Earlier in 2020, Arizona became the 13th state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana – this was a huge step for the people in this state, because Arizona is generally more conservative and Republican than others. However, recreational use was approved and more than 60% of the ballots on election day showed support for this movement. In a previous election in 2010 for the legalization of medical marijuana, the election results were much closer.
However, one community in Arizona is actually against this election result and wishes to see cannabis banned. Scottsdale Arizona is the first place to file a ban against recreational dispensaries in their local jurisdiction. How can one area of the state do this without the direction from the rest of the state? Shouldn’t the state government be stepping in to do something about this?
So where can you actually buy marijuana if you are not a medical card holder? Some people may think to just go to a normal medical dispensary and ask for their favorite strain. Well, it turns out that it is a little bit more complicated than that, and medical dispensaries are not going to be able to sell to people that do not have a medical card. For the first few months that recreational marijuana was legalized in Arizona, adults who may have been excited to buy their now legal cannabis will have to go ahead and wait for a bit.
I truly feel bad for all those people who were in such joy over the fact that cannabis was legalized for adult-use, only to learn that they will have to wait before being able to buy it. The good news is that dispensaries are already lining up in the state, and soon medical dispensaries that are currently operating in Arizona will be able to sell to all adult users of the plant.
The new laws in Arizona are also doing the criminal justice system some favors in the form of expungement. Since weed is now completely legal in the state, it makes sense for there to be decriminalization for people who got caught with or were selling cannabis. People who are imprisoned for marijuana-related charges have an opportunity to apply for expungement and have their charges dropped since what they did before is now actually legal. I think this is a good step in the right direction for legalizing cannabis on a federal level, and the fact that Arizona was the state to do it really gets the ball rolling for some of our other more conservative states.