Arizona Revised Statute § 13-3406 ARS prohibits the possession, use, sale, or manufacture of prescription drugs by anyone other than lawfully authorized people such as pharmacists. Unlawful actions with prescription drugs can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the case.
The text of the law is:
ARS § 13-3406. Possession, use, administration, acquisition, sale, manufacture or transportation of prescription-only drugs; misbranded drugs; classification; definition
A. A person shall not knowingly:
1. Possess or use a prescription-only drug unless the person obtains the prescription-only drug pursuant to a valid prescription of a prescriber who is licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 7, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 25 or 29 or is similarly licensed in another state.
2. Unless the person holds a license or a permit issued pursuant to title 32, chapter 7, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 25 or 29, possess a prescription-only drug for sale.
3. Unless the person holds a license or a permit issued pursuant to title 32, chapter 7, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 25 or 29, possess equipment and chemicals for the purpose of manufacturing a prescription-only drug.
4. Unless the person holds a license or a permit issued pursuant to title 32, chapter 18, manufacture a prescription-only drug.
5. Administer a prescription-only drug to another person whose possession or use of the prescription-only drug violates this section.
6. Obtain or procure the administration of a prescription-only drug by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or subterfuge.
7. Unless the person is authorized, transport for sale, import into this state or offer to transport for sale or import into this state, sell, transfer or offer to sell or transfer a prescription-only drug.
8. Possess or use a misbranded drug.
9. Manufacture, sell or distribute a misbranded drug.
B. A person who violates:
1. Subsection A, paragraph 9 of this section is guilty of a class 4 felony.
2. Subsection A, paragraph 2 or 7 of this section is guilty of a class 6 felony.
3. Subsection A, paragraph 1, 3, 4, 5 or 6 of this section is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor.
4. Subsection A, paragraph 8 of this section is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.
C. In addition to any other penalty prescribed by this title, the court shall order a person who is convicted of a violation of this section to pay a fine of one thousand dollars. A judge shall not suspend any part or all of the imposition of any fine required by this subsection.
D. A person who is convicted of a felony violation of this section for which probation or release before the expiration of the sentence imposed by the court is authorized is prohibited from using any marijuana, dangerous drug, narcotic drug or prescription-only drug except as lawfully administered by a practitioner and as a condition of any probation or release shall be required to submit to drug testing administered under the supervision of the probation department of the county or the state department of corrections, as appropriate, during the duration of the term of probation or before the expiration of the sentence imposed.
E. If a person who is convicted of a violation of subsection A, paragraph 2 or 7 of this section is granted probation, the court shall order that as a condition of probation the person perform not less than two hundred forty hours of community restitution with an agency or organization providing counseling, rehabilitation or treatment for alcohol or drug abuse, an agency or organization that provides medical treatment to persons who abuse controlled substances, an agency or organization that serves persons who are victims of crime or any other appropriate agency or organization.
F. For the purposes of this section, “misbranded drug” means a drug that is misbranded as prescribed in section 32-1967.
Arizona Revised Statute 13-3406 ARS forbids anyone other than authorized personnel (such as pharmacists) to do any of the following with prescription drugs:
- possess without a valid prescription
- possess for sale
- use without a valid prescription
- obtain through fraud or deceit
- possess equipment or chemicals for manufacturing
The punishment turns on which of these actions allegedly occurred:
|Prescription drug crime||Arizona penalties|
|Possessing, manufacturing, or administering a prescription drug; possessing equipment for manufacturing prescription drugs; or obtaining prescription drugs by fraud.||Class 1 misdemeanor:
|Transferring, selling, transporting, or possessing a prescription drug for the purpose of sale||Class 6 felony:
|Possessing or using a misbranded drug.||Class 2 misdemeanor:
|Manufacturing, selling or distributing a misbranded drug.||Class 4 felony:
If you are granted probation, you must submit to drug testing.
The main defense to ARS 13-3406 charges it that you did not act knowingly.
Example: Jenny is driving her friend Celia home. Celia by mistake leaves her Ritalin in Jenny’s car under the passenger seat. Since Jenny has no idea the Ritalin is there, she is not legally in possession of it and cannot be convicted of violating ARS 13-3406.1
Learn more in our related article about narcotics crimes.
- Arizona Revised Statute 13-3406 ARS – Possession, use, administration, acquisition, sale, manufacture or transportation of prescription-only drugs; misbranded drugs; classification; definition. See also State v. Villalobos Alvarez (Ariz. App. 1987) 745 P.2d 991; Reed-Kaliher v. Hoggatt (Ariz. 2015) 347 P.3d 136.