Some people facing marijuana possession charges will have a clean slate, thanks for Prop. 207

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- In the wake of voters passing Prop. 207, which legalizes recreational marijuana, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office (MCAO) says it will dismiss all pending and all unfiled charges of possession of marijuana and any associated paraphernalia charges.

Last week, voters approved Prop. 207, which had been nicknamed the "pot prop." Its official name was "The Smart and Safe Arizona Act." The measure means anyone 21 and older can legally buy, possess, and consume 1 ounce of marijuana.

Prop. 207 passes, legalizing recreational marijuana in Arizona

In a statement Monday, the MCAO said that it will begin implementing the will of the voters "immediately," instructing deputy county attorneys to file a motion to dismiss any charge covered by Proposition 207.

MCAO says that 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 MCAO will file motions to dismiss the charges that are covered by Prop. 207.

There are currently about 6,000 cases with charges that  include a count covered by Prop 206.

They say they have 3500 bench warrants to review. MCAO say they currently have 1400 charges that have been filed and waiting for a determination of probably cause.

Around 1,000 charges have been submitted but not filed. MCAO says they can reverse the decision before the charges get filed. 

Lastaly, 180 cases are currently in the trial phase that include charges covered by Prop 207.

This will include all cases pending in Early Disposition Court, those currently in diversion or pending trial, and those set for sentencing or probation violation hearings.

MCAO says priority will be given to cases with court dates and those in custody. The office will also be filing motions to dismiss bench warrant cases where all the charges are covered by Proposition 207.

The Arizona Secretary of State’s Office describes Prop. 207 this way:

The law would allow limited marijuana possession, use, and cultivation by adults 21 or older; amend criminal penalties for marijuana possession; ban smoking marijuana in public; impose a 16% excise tax on marijuana sales to fund public programs; authorize state/local regulation of marijuana licensees; and allow expungement of marijuana offenses.

Marijuana possession becomes legal when election results are certified in about a month, and sales should begin in May.

In addition to Maricopa, Yavapai County announced on Tuesday morning that they will also dismiss pending marijuana charges. 


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