In a landmark unanimous 7-0 decision just handed down this morning, the Arizona Supreme Court has ruled on the side of MMJ patients that cannabis extracts are to remain legal officially greenlighting the continued sale and possession of the popular form of ingestion by dispensaries and consumers.
To the dismay of weed-haters across the state, the highest court in the land ruled, “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 AMMA is the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act which established the state’s MMJ market beginning in 2010, but failed to definitively carve out rules specifically for cannabis concentrates and extracts. Since then, over 200,000 Arizona residents have registered under the program one of whom is named Rodney Jones.
In 2013, Jones who was a registered MMJ patient at the time was taken into custody in a Prescott, Arizona-area hotel where he was found to be in possession of 1.4 grams of some form of hash or hash oil extracted from a cannabis plant. Jones was arrested and sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for the hash as well as another year concurrent for possession of the JAR IT WAS IN.
Jones, of course, has appealed this bogus ruling ever since. Just last year, his request was denied by the Arizona state Court of Appeals, but today’s Supreme Court ruling bearing his name (State of Arizona v. Rodney Christopher Jones) finally delivers justice to Jones and presumably many others who have been forced to walk in his footsteps over the course of the past five or six years.
Cannabis extracts are rapidly rising as a preferred method of ingestion both for medical marijuana patients, as well as recreational cannabis consumers. By the end of next year, most industry experts predict that sales of cannabis extracts will meet or even exceed that of the sales of traditional flowers/buds. The quick, clean, and efficient nature of vaporizing or ingesting high grade hash oils and resins delivers a long-lasting effect that consumers crave without the ashes and tell-tale odors that they would rather avoid.
But for many cannabis consumers, the oral ingestion of cannabis extracts can be the difference between a sustainable quality of life and utter misery, chronic pain, or even death. To withhold this proven efficient form of medication to those in need based on nothing more than ignorance-fueled fears or Reefer Madness level reasoning is inhumane and it appears that the Arizona Supreme Court agrees with us.
These trends are reflected in Arizona’s robust medical marijuana market where patients purchased 2.5 tons of edibles and another 2.5 tons of cannabis concentrates in 2018.
The Court laid the smack down on state law enforcement officers who had used loopholes in the verbiage of the state’s cannabis regulations to argue that “resin” is not specifically covered in the language of the law. From their ruling today (emphasis ours, lol), “AMMA defines 'marijuana' as 'all parts of [the] plant'. The word 'all,' one of the most comprehensive words in the English language, means exactly that ... Taken together, 'all parts' refers to all constituent elements of the marijuana plant, and the fact the resin must first be extracted from the plant reflects that it is part of the plant."
Meanwhile, Jones doesn’t get those 2.5 years of his life back, though we hope to see headlines of a successful civil suit in his favor in the near future.
Arizona voters came up just short of passing an adult-use recreational cannabis law in 2016, tallying 48% approval while faced with well-funded demonic opposition from Discount Tire (donated $1,000,000 to defeat the measure), Sheldon Adelson ($500,000 donated), and Insys Therapeutics (another $500k) the maker and pusher of a deadly sublingual Fentanyl spray who now faces charges of bribing doctors with lapdances.
One year ago, things were looking pretty bleak out in the desert, but a recent approval to begin mandatory lab testing of legal cannabis products along with this cementing of patients’ rights to consume how they choose has the Arizona marijuana market back in bloom.