However, that's when Katherine Cooper (Arizona judge) made medical marijuana, as well as its other related products such as CBD, legal. The Welton family. Oct 2, A Phoenix New Times investigation exposes how a central Arizona county's hard stance on medical cannabis extracts has resulted in injustice. CBD Oil for Sale in Arizona. By Jeremy Freeman. Arizona is becoming a hub for places to buy CBD in the Southwest, with locations in Mesa, Phoenix, Tucson.
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A Yavapai County Superior Court judge agreed with Polk's interpretation in Jones , sending the valid medical-marijuana cardholder to prison for two years. In June, the Arizona Court of Appeals released its decision upholding the conviction, declaring that the AMMA didn't address the felonious "resin extracted" from cannabis plants. More than , patients and plus dispensary owners and employees are waiting for the Arizona Supreme Court to decide whether it will review the appellate court decision on extracts.
If the Court of Appeals decision stands, dispensaries would be required to remove products with extracts from their shelves. Ironically, it's often the patients who are the most ill, like epileptics and cancer patients, who use such products. These outlier cases show how a decision by the Arizona Supreme Court in the Jones case will affect enforcement of cannabis concentrates in Yavapai and other Arizona counties.
Maricopa County, the state's largest, isn't prosecuting extracts cases the same way. But in , Montgomery was sued by the family of Zander Welton, a boy whose serious seizures seemed to be helped by cannabis extracts.
Montgomery didn't appeal her decision. Montgomery's office and metro Phoenix police also don't target CBD sellers or, presumably, users. Vape pens with CBD oil are sold openly to adults without medical-marijuana cards at smoke and vape shops in metro Phoenix. CBD is sold online in all 50 states, and the U. Drug Enforcement Agency, despite some threats, has not taken action against it. But in Yavapai County, unless and until the Arizona Supreme Court addresses the issue of extracted cannabis resin, medical-marijuana patients with extracts and CBD users remain in high risk.
Stapleton told Officer Wilson he got the vape pen from his friend, and that he used it to help with back pain. Wilson asked him if the vape pen contained THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis plants, and how a "CBD oil high was different than regular marijuana. Wilson also asked if Stapleton had a medical-marijuana card, and Stapleton answered "no. Records show that Wilson was a little confused about the CBD oil. The officer called Jonathan Hale, deputy county attorney, and asked him how he should write up a citation for CBD.
Stapleton soon found himself booked into jail. Despite Hale's instruction to Wilson, Polk's office later charged Stapleton with possession of narcotic cannabis for the CBD oil, two counts of possession of weapons in a drug offense, and a charge of possession of paraphernalia for the vape pen. After a plea deal, Stapleton was convicted in Yavapai County Superior Court a few months later of misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia for the vape pen.
The other charges were dropped. His court-appointed lawyer, Harvel Golden, a Yavapai County public defender, said a plea deal down to the paraphernalia charge is the most typical outcome for felony marijuana cases in Yavapai County. Golden didn't recall much about the case, but he looked up his notes on it. And you can quote me on that. It won't be anything new for them — they've heard it before. The vast majority of the 90 cases that New Times reviewed involved people who had no legal right under Arizona law to possess marijuana.
New Times looked at only the cases, which were the most readily available from Polk's office, and which were the most likely to have been adjudicated by now. But similar busts have taken place this year, and will continue to be made unless the state's high court reverses the appellate decision. Many of the cases involved bulk trafficking of marijuana, meth, and other drugs, with cops finding small amounts of cannabis extracts in the suspects' possession.
Other cases involve Arizonans without medical marijuana cards who bought vape pens or shatter on the black market. But two of the 90 arrests and prosecutions were for people who had CBD oil. Mitchell Aaron Brown of Prescott was also arrested and charged in with felony possession of narcotics for "a bottle of CBD oil. But Yavapai County prosecutors ultimately charged Brown for the Class Four felony narcotic charge, plus a felony count for paraphernalia, presumably for the bottle.
The local NPR affiliate asked Polk for a September 20 article whether her office prosecuted people for CBD oil after a reporter witnessed such a possible prosecution in open court. Polk didn't return messages for this article. But when New Times pointed out the convictions of Brown and Stapleton among the released documents, the office acknowledged that it had prosecuted suspected CBD oil cases.
It's not doing that anymore, according to Bill Hughes, the chief criminal deputy for the Yavapai County Attorney's Office. The office "currently" will not prosecute possession of "likely" CBD oil unless there is additional evidence such as a lab report that proves the substance contains more than trace amounts of THC, according to Hughes.
Hughes said he wasn't sure when the office changed its policy. But he noted that while some products contain 0. But, he added, "Such cases may have happened. Hughes emphasized that of suspected narcotic cannabis cases submitted to the office by law enforcement agencies between January 1, , and July 1, , the office declined to bring that charge in of the cases. As with the 90 cases reviewed by New Times , it's likely that the majority of the cases involved other, potentially serious criminal charges against suspects.
But it's clear that Yavapai County has continued to prosecute valid medical-marijuana cardholders for cannabis extracts since the arrest of Jones in In two other cases from the list of 90 cases, medical-marijuana patients were charged with possessing extracts that are sold commonly in state dispensaries.
One of them was Ashle Stuart, a year-old mom from the small town of Cornville. She's a registered dispensary agent for a medical-marijuana business in Yavapai County, Harvest of Arizona, which acquired the previous dispensary she worked for, Yavapai Herbal Services. She's also a medical-marijuana patient, consuming primarily for her chronic pain. And no, she's not faking it. She has a medical port near her right shoulder to make it easier for intravenous fluid uptake, which she needs to help treat her "autonomic nervous system disorder.
Her Phoenix attorney, Sam Harbison, confirmed that Stuart has a legit diagnosis, and that she had brain surgery several years ago as a result of the illness. Stuart met with New Times in Harbison's office last week. Stuart and her fiance, German Fritzler, had been working all day on October 13, , she as a budtender and Fritzler as a trimmer in the dispensary's cultivation facility.
He was covered in tiny bits of marijuana as they drove home that evening on Cornville Road. Fritzler's silver SUV had a burnt-out license plate light, and they got pulled over by Yavapai County Sheriff's Deputy Bea Carrillo, who told the pair that the car smelled of burnt marijuana.
Carrillo found multiple containers of marijuana and pipes in the car, court documents show. Carrillo also found a "small rubber container which contained marijuana wax," a THC vape cartridge for Stuart's vape pen. Carrillo suspected Fritzler was too impaired to drive. After taking them to jail, the deputy submitted a DUI-drugs charge for Fritzler, plus a possession of marijuana charge because a few of the loose pieces of marijuana had landed in a front pocket.
Carrillo wrote up Stuart for the wax and paraphernalia, despite her valid Arizona medical-marijuana card and the dispensary receipt for the vape cartridge. Stuart said she was booked into a "freezing" jail cell, denied her blood pressure medicine, and not released until 3 p. Soon, she was charged with two felonies. With the help of family members, she located and hired Harbison to help her fight what she felt was a bogus prosecution. The most logical tactic was to wait for the Arizona Court of Appeals to rule on the Jones case.
Prosecutors went along with it for a while, "but they finally said no more" and set a hard deadline for a deferred prosecution deal, Harbison said. Then came the June ruling in the Jones case, and it wasn't favorable to defendants like Stuart. She took the plea deal in July. From the clinical test results, CBD oil not only improves the health of a person but their life too.
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