Phoenix New Times: “Phoenix police say they might bust you for holding the wrong kind of cookie. In researching this week’s cover story about marijuana food products and concentrates, ‘Half Baked,’ New Times asked police to clarify their position on the preparations of marijuana not protected by the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. Patients and dispensary operators won’t like the answer, though it might not surprise them.”
Here is the content of the email message Phoenix Police Sergeant Martos sent to the New Times:
“Hash oil purity:
“In order to identify marijuana we need to be able to look at plant material under the microscope and observe structures on the leaf surfaces. If someone has removed the resin from the plant material by mechanical or chemical means what we get is hashish, hash oil or cannabutter for example.
I can tell you that hashish runs the gamut in color from green to dark brown. Under the microscope it appears resinous and not like plant material and occasionally there may be some particles of plant material adhering to it. The resinous material does not look like plant material, nor does it contain the features in place for us to look at so we do not call it marijuana. Testing the hashish in the lab will allow us to identify THC and other cannabinoids which is how we arrive at classifying the material as cannabis (narcotic drug) vs. marijuana.
The lab does not grade hashish or marijuana for that matter for purity, quality etc. If we receive a food product as evidence, which contain no plant material, but we can identify THC etc. the material will be reported out as cannabis (narcotic drug). Our examination of items submitted as evidence is using definitions contained in ARS 13-3401. We do not use the AMMA as a means of testing evidence submitted to the laboratory.
“cannabutter”: This substance is considered a narcotic drug if created from extracts from marijuana. We deal with this in accordance with title 13.
We do not have a department policy for every single Title 13 criminal violation. It is our job as law enforcement personnel to enforce the laws of Arizona, which is what is being done when it comes to the aforementioned violations related to use/possession of cannabis. Department policies are not specific to each A.R.S. code.”