Types of Illegal Substances in Arizona State


There are many different factors that contribute to the severity of drug crimes and their punishments, the most prominent of which is the type of illegal substance in question. When a person commits a drug crime, their offense is classified depending on what kind of illegal drug was involved. The Congress of the United States enacted the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in 1970, in which nearly all illegal drugs and other substances are categorized according to their level of danger and potential for abuse. The CSA has since been utilized in state legislature across the country in order to fairly classify drug offenses and determine proper penalties. Searching for a lawyer for a drug charge in Phoenix? You need to team up with the best drug attorney in Phoenix.

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The Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) provides an extensive list of illegal drugs and substances in §13-3401. More specific definitions, guidelines and penalties are provided in sections §34-3402 through §13-3461. Below is the most common of these illegal substances, their definitions and their penalties as found in their corresponding sections in the A.R.S.


The use of marijuana for recreational as well as medicinal purposes has been around for centuries. In Arizona, the use of medical marijuana has been legalized, but only for registered users. Any other situation involving possession, cultivation, distribution or trafficking could result in a class 6, 5 or 4 felony according to A.R.S. §13-3405 and, depending on the amount of marijuana in question, could result in a maximum of 10 years in jail, as well as a $750 fine or three times the value of the marijuana, whichever is higher.

Medical Marijuana

The use of medical marijuana by registered individuals has been legal in Arizona since 2010. There are strict regulations that must be followed, however. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), registered users must obtain medical marijuana from an approved non-profit dispensary. Guidelines for these dispensaries are found in A.R.S. §36-2804.The only time a person may cultivate their own cannabis plants is when there is no dispensary located within 25 miles and the individual has been approved to do so by the ADHS.

Narcotic Drugs

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the word "narcotic" is derived from the Greek word for "stupor." Narcotic drugs have medicinal purposes, such as dulling pain or treating diarrhea, but they can become highly addictive when abused. Some of the more common of these drugs include cocaine, "crack," and heroin. Penalties for narcotic drug crimes are listed in A.R.S. §13-3408.

Dangerous Drugs

The term "dangerous drugs" is defined in A.R.S. §13-3401 to refer to dozens of illegal substances, the most common of which include "ecstasy," crystal meth, methamphetamines, amphetamines, LSD and PCP. These drugs are dangerous because of their high potential for addiction and abuse. They are also notorious for being involved in cases of overdose and they can cause severe health problems when used repeatedly.

Prescription Drugs

Even drugs that are meant to improve a person's health can be abused. Many prescription drugs contain small amounts of addictive substances and, if a person becomes addicted due to overuse or a doctor's negligence, they could commit the crimes of prescription fraud and/or doctor shopping in order to feed their addiction. Some of the most commonly abuse prescription drugs include Vicodin, Oxycodone, Lyrica, Xanax and Valium. Even though prescription drugs result in some of the most minor drug crime penalties according to A.R.S. §13-3406, they can still result in a felony conviction. Need a lawyer for a prescription drug charge in Phoenix? Call a Phoenix drug attorney now!


If you are facing false charges of a drug crime involving any kind of illegal substance, call MayesTelles PLLC for a free case evaluation. Our legal team has handled numerous drug crime cases and could provide experienced and aggressive defense. Visit one of our convenient office locations in Downtown Phoenix or in Prescott to speak with us in person, or call our offices to schedule an appointment.

We offer flexible payment plans so that you can afford the relentless defense of a Phoenix illegal substance lawyer. Call today!

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      The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Viewing this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. Do not send the firm confidential information. This website is governed by the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct.