In a recent court case, Maricopa Judge Katherine Cooper ruled that the use of marijuana extract, a variation of the plant used to make marijuana products such as candies and lollipops, is legal. Judge Cooper’s decision overruled a view held by some that the 2010 Arizona Medical Marijuana Act only allows the consumption of actual pieces of the marijuana plant.

Judge Cooper pointed out that the measure allows the use of marijuana “and any mixture or preparation thereof.” She also stated that, if medical marijuana can be taken in only one form, that it nearly eliminates medical marijuana as a treatment option for those who cannot take it in plant form, or could receive a greater benefit from an alternative form.

This ruling was especially positive for a Mesa family, the Welton’s. Parents Jacob and Jennifer Welton had been given a doctor’s permission to use medical marijuana on their five year old son, Zander Welton, to treat his seizures. The parents had been giving their son a liquid tincture, a medical solution of an active herb and an alcohol solvent, with marijuana extract because their son didn’t like the crushed marijuana leaves in his food. Using marijuana in a liquid form was a way for the Welton’s to treat their son’s seizures, as well as monitor the dosage of the drug.

Prosecutor Bill Montgomery argued that, marijuana extract technically falls under a different definition of “cannabis” and therefore is not approved under the voter approved marijuana act. Judge Cooper dismissed Montgomery’s argument by explaining that, the words of the act allow for the manipulation of the plant, therefore making the extract legal for those with proper documentation.

Marijuana tincture is a dark green liquid, and is most commonly administered orally via a medicine dropper or a pump spray. The tincture can be mixed with another liquid or added to food. Therefore, because of its versatility, marijuana tincture has seen an increase in demand at dispensaries, as it is a preferred alternative to the traditional inhalation of smoke. The effects of marijuana tincture, however, are the same as smoked marijuana and should be used in conjunction with a doctor’s recommendation.

Here at the Rosenstein Law Group, our attorney Craig Rosenstein is actively involved with NORML, a nonprofit lobbying organization working to educate others and legalize the responsible use of marijuana. Craig serves as an advocate for consumers to understand the positive uses of the drug and assure that they have access to safe, high quality marijuana.