(May 2013)

Dear Ashley:

I am a single mother in Scottsdale, and my son was recently arrested for possession of marijuana. The police officer also found a marijuana pipe in his car. He is 19 years old. I am really worried that he is going to go to jail. Is there anything that can be done to keep him out so that he can stay in summer school and keep his job?


In November of 1996, Arizona voters passed Proposition 200 which was designed to give persons charged with minor drug crimes a chance to avoid jail or prison through probation or substance abuse treatment.  On a first offense of possession of marijuana or certain other drugs, the defendant faces no jail, but only a sentence of probation. The defendant might also qualify for the Treatment Assessment Screening Centers (“TASC”) diversion program, which will result in dismissal of the drug charges upon successful completion of a chemical abuse treatment program and court supervision.

Even persons charged with possession for sale of marijuana or cocaine can be eligible for charging and sentencing under Proposition 200, if the amounts involved are relatively small. Methamphetamine charges are no longer eligible for Prop 200 disposition, however, due to a referendum passed by Arizona voters in 2006.

If you have further questions about this issue, please contact Ashley D. Adams, PLC 480.219.1366 or, Ashley is a criminal defense attorney in Scottsdale and a former federal prosecutor.

Ashley D. Adams