By Greg Barr | Phoenix Business Journal
Medical marijuana patients in the state now can legally possess hashish after the Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled the extracted resin and oils from marijuana are the same as other parts of the plant.
The Court’s 7-0 ruling clarifies the definition of marijuana in the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act that went into effect in 2010 after medical marijuana was approved by voters.
The ruling stems from a case in 2013 when Rodney Jones, a medical marijuana card holder, was arrested on charges of marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession, which included a tiny amount of hashish in a jar.
Jones had taken his case to the Arizona Court of Appeals but that court ruled against him in 2018, noting that hashish wasn’t specifically included within the definition of marijuana under the law, setting up Tuesday’s decision by the state’s top court. Jones spent more than two years in prison and was released in 2017.
“We hold that the definition of marijuana in § 36-2801(8) includes resin, and by extension hashish, and that § 36-2811(B)(1) immunizes the use of such marijuana consistent with AMMA,” the Supreme Court ruling stated. “We reverse the trial court’s ruling denying Jones’s motion to dismiss, vacate the court of appeals’ opinion, and vacate Jones’s convictions and sentences.”
Laura Bianchi, a partner and director of the cannabis practice with Scottsdale-based Rose Law Group, said hashish and other forms of marijuana should have been treated the same since the law was enacted, and described the Jones case as a “direct attack” on the rights of medical marijuana patients to consume the drug in whatever form they choose.