Colo Appeals Court: No Medical Marijuana While On Probation

The Colorado Court of Appeals has ruled persons on probation may not use marijuana, even if they have a valid state license to do so. The opinion is here.

The Court based its decision on federal law which it says outlaws possession and use of marijuana. (Actually, federal law only bans possession, not use of a controlled substance but no one seems to raise creative ways one could use marijuana without actually or constructively possessing it.)[More...]

[21 USC] § 844. Penalty for simple possession

(a) Unlawful acts; penalties. It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to possess a controlled substance unless such substance was obtained directly, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order, from a practitioner, while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by this title or title III.

...Any person who violates this subsection may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than 1 year, and shall be fined a minimum of $ 1,000, or both....

c) "Drug, narcotic, or chemical offense" defined. As used in this section, the term " drug, narcotic, or chemical offense" means any offense which proscribes the possession, distribution, manufacture, cultivation, sale, transfer, or the attempt or conspiracy to possess, distribute, manufacture, cultivate, sell or transfer any substance the possession of which is prohibited under this title.

In any event, this decision is just another example of how probation isn't the walk in the park people make it out to be. Maybe some sympathetic judges will agree to a sentence of a fine or time served instead of probation for those with valid state medical marijuana licenses.

< NZ Police Address Use of Special Tactics Group in Kim DotCom Raid | Colorado, Minn. Republican Caucuses Tonight >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Yeah, cuz your chemotherapy goes (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:51:47 PM EST
    on probation too and you just stop puking up everything you eat until you wet yourself.  It's magic.  Obviously everyone receiving chemotherapy should be put on probation.

    Bring back (none / 0) (#2)
    by NYShooter on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 07:05:06 PM EST
    Royalty, dictatorship, theocracy, serfdom.....anything.

    We're obviously not capable of self-government.

    They're working on it (none / 0) (#4)
    by sj on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 07:26:22 PM EST
    Creative way to avoid possession... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 09:53:34 AM EST
    would being hand-fed a hash brownie by a nurse work as use without possession?  

    If not, all I can come up with is sit in a "wellness room" with an air intake hooked up to a vaporizer.  Or old-school shotgun tokes.

    This is such a lame ruling...drug warriors just don't quit do they.

    I like the vaporizer filled room (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 02:51:45 AM EST
    as a potential way to use without possessing. I hope a defense lawyer somewhere raises it.

    "chemotherapy" (none / 0) (#5)
    by diogenes on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 07:40:49 PM EST
    Most probationers are young males.  I would guess that one tenth of one percent of them, and probably fewer, have cancer requiring chemotherapy with intractable nausea that can only be remedied by smoking THC.
    On the other hand, the prevalence of substance dependence disorders in probationers is quite high (40% in one 2000 Illinois study), and firing up the dopamine system by smoking marijuana increases risk of relapse to substance dependence, which is not good if you don't want probationers to commit more crimes.
    Now if these people were asking to use Marinol tablets, that would be a different story as far as risk goes.
    BTW, I have prescribed Marinol tablets and people either have a good response or say that the pills make them feel "high" (in which case smoking would do the same).

    Condescending post (none / 0) (#6)
    by NYShooter on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 08:58:58 PM EST
    But fine in a totalitarian State.

    Oh, wait.

    You're right. Never mind.


    Baloney (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 02:49:35 AM EST
    My clients who have been prescribed Marinol say it's close to worthless as they build a tolerance to it quite quickly and need to take more and more. None have reported getting "high" from it.

    And medical marijuana is not restricted to cancer patients. It helps people who suffer from a wide variety of conditions, from MS to chronic pain.

    As for your ten year old study, you are missing the point which is that most drug users relapse during treatment, especially the first time. Smoking marijuana on probation doesn't cause relapses, it is a relapse. Next you'll tell us that smoking marijuana leads to shooting heroin.