Arizona Sale of a Controlled Substance Laws

Learn about the penalties for selling drugs in Arizona.

All states regulate and control the sale of controlled dangerous substances (CDS), though each differs in its exact definition of CDS and the penalties for sale. Arizona considers not only well-known drugs like marijuana, heroin, and cocaine controlled substances, but also the compounds used to manufacture them.

This article discusses the sale of CDS only. The possession of CDS for personal use carries different penalties. For more information on possession of CDS for personal use, see Possession of Controlled Substances in Arizona.

How Arizona Classifies the Sale of Controlled Dangerous Substances

Arizona divides CDS that is involved in illegal sales into seven groups, based on the type of substance the defendant possessed for sale. The groups are:

  • peyote
  • substances that emits toxic vapors
  • marijuana
  • prescription only drugs
  • dangerous drugs
  • narcotic drugs, and
  • chemicals used in the production of CDS.

If you’ve been arrested for sale of CDS, in order to know what charges you may be facing, you’ll need to consult the Arizona Codes that list precisely which drugs, and in what amounts, fit into each group. Those statutes are Arizona Code Sections 13.3401-13.3422.

Classification of Possession of CDS Crimes

All unlawful sales or transfers of CDS crimes are felonies. There are six classes of felonies. CDS sale or distribution crimes constitute Classes 2 through 6. Class 2 felonies are the most serious.

Sale or distribution of peyote

The sale or distribution of peyote is a Class 6 felony. A Class 6 felony is punishable by four months to two years in prison. Felony fines are determined by the court and can be assessed at up to $150,000. However, a defendant can defeat a charge of possession if he can prove the peyote was used for religious reasons during the course of a religious exercise and did not pose a threat to the community.

Sale or transfer of substances that emit toxic vapors

It is illegal to sell or transfer any substance that contains or emits toxic vapors (such as glues, aerosol sprays, and isopropyl alcohol) when:

  • the sale, offer to sell, or transfer of the substance is to a person under the age of 18; or
  • when the person who sells, tries to sell, or transfers the substance is not an employee of a licensed company which, in the ordinary course of business, customarily sells the substance from a fixed location.

The unlawful sale, transfer, possession for sale or transfer, or offer to sell or transfer a substance that emits toxic vapors is a Class 5 felony, but may be reduced to a Class 1 misdemeanor by the court. A Class 5 felony is punishable by six months to two and a half years in jail and a fine of up to $150,000. If the conviction is sentenced as a Class 1 misdemeanor the court can impose a six-month jail term and a fine of up to $2,500.

Sale or transfer of marijuana

The sale, transfer, possession for sale or transfer, or offer to sell or transfer marijuana is penalized in accordance with the amount of the drug in the defendant’s possession:

  • Possession of less than two pounds is a Class 4 felony.
  • Possession of more than two pounds but less than four pounds is a Class 3 felony.
  • Possession of more than four pounds is a Class 2 felony.

Class 4 felony. A Class 4 felony is punishable by one to 3

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