Despite the fact that Arizona has a medical-marijuana law, that law does not turn a neighborhood weed dealer into a bona fide medical-marijuana salesman.
This apparently comes as news to several Phoenix residents, as a New Times review of superior court filings shows that police have busted several dealers over the last few weeks, and were discovered by police because they offered "medical marijuana" for sale on Craigslist.
While there's certainly an argument that it's petty for cops to bust a transfer of marijuana between patients, it's not the brightest idea to make a Craigslist post highlighting that your "top shelf medicine" is $90 for a quarter-ounce, and $150 for a half-ounce. Of course, those are "donations," not "prices," the weed salesman will state in a losing argument with police.
Whether the "compassion club" model is legal -- in which donations to the club will get you "free" medicine -- still seems to be a gray area, as they're still being busted by some Valley police agencies here in 2013.
However, just acting as a regular weed dealer, but selling your "medical marijuana" for the price of "donations" probably won't keep you out of jail.
In one example, on June 5, officers contacted the poster of a Craigslist ad "advertising medical marijuana available for donation[s]," according to a court filing.
Through text messages, 34-year-old Phoenix resident Joshua Hulse and a police officer agreed to meet in the parking lot of a Walgreens at 35th Avenue and Union Hills, and exchange marijuana for money -- yeah, the "donation."
Police pulled him over after the transaction, and he admitted to meeting patients for these exchanges.
The report specifically states that what Hulse did was illegal due to the exchange of money for marijuana, but that's not the only problem police ended up finding. According to court filings, police found that Hulse had more than a pound of marijuana, and nearly $5,500 in cash. Additionally, police allege Hulse had a small bag of meth in his backpack.
Hulse was booked into jail on three felony drug charges.
Consider yourselves warned, weed salesmen (yes, you, saying you "don't negotiate" the prices of the donations).
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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.