When Does Marijuana Possession Become an Intent to Sell?

marijuana possession

When Does Marijuana Possession Become an Intent to Sell?

In Arizona, if you are found to have marijuana in your possession you could face some serious charges. If you are convicted of marijuana possession or charges for possessing with the intent to sell you might find yourself facing time in jail. According to Arizona state law, marijuana is defined to be any parts of the cannabis plant where the resin has not been removed. The cannabis plant itself might be dead, growing, or as seeds that have not been sterilized but are capable of germination. Law enforcement officers and prosecutors work together closely to ensure the state has as many convictions as it possibly can in regards to the possession or sale of marijuana, with those facing felony convictions being sent to jail or prison, facing expensive fines, community service, and other penalties as ordered by the court.

Who Is Charged With Intent To Sell In Arizona?

According to Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) 13-3405, no one should use marijuana or have it in their possession or have marijuana with the intent to sell. However, there is a fine line in what makes marijuana possession become more than those charges and lead to charges for an intent to sell. The statute itself lists the possession of marijuana with an intent to sell as meeting three established standards beyond any reasonable doubt. Those three standards are:

  • You know you have marijuana in your possession
  • The substance in your possession is confirmed to be marijuana
  • The substance is in your possession for the purpose of reselling it

While all three of these standards must be proven in court for a conviction for intent to sell to hold up, the exact definition can be complicated. You should know that “intent to sell” does not just involve the amount of marijuana that is in possession, but instead, it involves the clear intent to exchange the plant you have in possession for anything that can be of advantage or of value to you. Money is only one thing of value.

It can be challenging to prove that the marijuana possession is for an intent to sell based on those things alone, there are other factors that can be used to tell the difference in intent to sell and just possession. If someone is in possession of a large amount of marijuana, it can lead one to assume it was for resale and not for personal use. However, adding possession of a larger amount of marijuana with any of these following factors and it becomes more clear that there was an intent to sell.

  • A ledger indicating sales
  • Small plastic bags used for packaging
  • Phone records or text messages indicating sales
  • Scales used for weighing marijuana
  • Large sums of money from drug transactions

So, in order to defend yourself and have your case dismissed, your Arizona criminal defense attorney has to disprove the allegations that you had the marijuana with the intent to sell it. Arizona law requires harsh penalties for a conviction of marijuana possession with intent to sell.

What Are The Penalties For Marijuana Possession Or Intent To Resell In Arizona?

In Arizona, if you are convicted for intent to sell marijuana, your sentence will involve a mandatory prison term if the prosecution can prove you exceeded the statutory threshold of having more than two pounds of marijuana in your possession. The judge will consider several things when sentencing you, including your past criminal history, whether or not weapons were used during the crime, and if you had weapons in your possession at the time of your arrest.

marijuana possessionIf you are convicted for having less than two pounds of marijuana, it is classified as a Class 4 Felony, which has less severe penalties than a Class 2 or Class 3 felony. The severity of charges are dependent on the weight of the marijuana in your possession at the time you are charged. A Class 2 Felony conviction can lead to up to 12 1/2 years in prison. Marijuana possession, distribution, and sale are regulated by both state and federal laws. A.R.S. 36-2512 has marijuana listed as a Schedule I controlled substance. According to A.R.S. 13-801, penalties for marijuana charges in Arizona can include fines of as much as $150,000.

If you have been charged with any marijuana related offenses, you should consult with an Arizona criminal law attorney. These are serious charges that should not be taken lightly, so you need an attorney who is experienced in handling Arizona drug charges.