Arizona’s Largest County Dismisses Marijuana Charges After State Votes To Legalise It
Arizona’s largest county has dropped all pending charges for recreational marijuana use in adults, after the state voted to legalise the drug.
Maricopa County Attorney’s Office says it will now dismiss all pending and unfiled charges of possession after voters in Arizona passed Proposition 27, which legalises recreational weed use.
The attorney’s office also promised to drop all associated paraphernalia charges as well.
In a statement, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said:
Instead of continuing to spend resources on these cases, this office will begin implementing the will of the voters immediately.
We are instructing Deputy County Attorneys to file a motion to dismiss any charge covered by Proposition 207. If those charges make up the entirety of the charges of the case, the entire case will be dismissed.
If there are other felony charges the case will remain pending, but we will file motions to dismiss the charges covered by Proposition 207.
This will include all cases that are currently pending in Early Disposition Court, those currently in diversion or pending trial, and any cases that have already been set for sentencing or probation violation hearings.
The attorney’s office plans to prioritise people who already have their court dates and those being held in custody.
On Tuesday, November 3, 60% of Arizona residents voted in favour of legalising recreational marijuana use, meaning past convictions can be expunged.
Adults, aged 21 and over, in the state can now legally be in possession of as much as an ounce of marijuana, as the state plans to set up a licensing system for the sale of the drug.
Retail of the now-legal high will begin with the medical marijuana dispensaries that are already operating in Arizona.
Possessing and growing up to six marijuana plants at home will soon also be legal in the state, after the election results are made official at the end of this month.
Historically, anti-marijuana laws have disproportionately affected members of the Black community, so it’s hoped the decriminalisation of the drug will establish ‘social equity’ licenses for those who have been affected in the past.
Meanwhile, New Jersey, South Dakota and Montana also passed legislation to legalise the possession of weed in adults, bringing it to a total of 15 states in the US.
Those in favour of the decriminalisation say that bans cause more harm than the drug itself, using up police resources.
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