Major news came today in Arizona, as cannabis extracts are now considered legal under the state’s medical marijuana act. With the decision by Arizona’s Supreme Court, the conviction of Rodney Jones, a medical marijuana patient, was also overturned. In 2016, Jones was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for possession of a small amount of hashish oil in 2013.
As a result of this ruling, others have also been pardoned of their charges.
The following is a re-post of an article written by Lauren Castle of Gannett/AZCentral.com
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The long debate over whether medical marijuana extracts are legal in Arizona is over, after a ruling by the state Supreme Court. Extracts fall under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, the court ruled Tuesday.
The ruling comes after a 2016 conviction and sentencing of Rodney Jones, a registered medical marijuana patient who was found in possession of a jar containing 0.005 ounces of hashish in 2013.
Last year, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled in June that medical marijuana extracts do not fall under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. Extracts are used in oils, or edibles, as well as in vaping.
The appeals court ruled Jones was not immune from prosecution. He was sentenced to serve 2½ years in jail for drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.
In its decision, the Arizona Supreme Court vacated Jones’s conviction and sentence.
The court said it disagreed with the state’s argument that the act does not apply to resin or extracts.
In court documents for the case involving Jones, former Arizona Department of Health Services Director Will Humble weighed in on his understanding of the state’s medical marijuana act. He helped create the rules for the act, which voters passed in 2010.
“As we developed the rules, I always believed that extracts and preparations of marijuana (cannabis) were protected under Proposition 203,” he said in his court filing.
Lower courts have ruled on the issue in the past.
In 2014, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled that 5-year-old Zander Welton could be treated with extracts for seizures, according to a report by The Associated Press.
Judge Katherine Cooper said in her ruling that the state law allowed qualifying patients to use extracts, including CBD oil.
The ACLU filed the lawsuit regarding Welton because Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and other law enforcement officials believed the act did not allow the use of extracts, according to the organization.
Many groups concerned with the case submitted opinions to the court, including the ACLU and the Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice.
Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice was concerned that patients who legally receive a medical marijuana card and go into a state-licensed dispensary could possibly be charged with a crime, according to attorney Sarah Mayhew.
The ACLU sent an opinion with numerous stories of families needing to use extracts for their children. Many children who use medical marijuana for treatment need to use extracts instead of smoking the leafy substance.
One family uses CBD oil and THC oil to treat their 2-year-old daughter who has a form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. Her condition cannot be treated with most anti-seizure medications. Extracts have decreased the frequency and length of the child’s seizures, according to the court document.
“She now smiles and plays and is developing normally,” the family said in court documents.
This article was first published on https://www.cannabisimp.com.