Parolees OK To Use Medical Marijuana

Parolees OK To Use Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on May 30, 2008 at 10:13:47 PT
By Amy Beth Hanson, Associated Press
Source: Missoulian
Helena, MT -- The state Department of Corrections has backed off from a proposed rule that would bar anyone on parole or probation from obtaining medical marijuana without a judge's approval.Proponents of the medical marijuana law, passed by voters in 2004, argued during a March hearing that the law does not allow any penalty for using medical marijuana, regardless of a person's criminal history.
“Our hands are tied by the way the initiative-passed law was written,” Diana Koch, chief legal counsel for the department, said in a statement Thursday. “As a result, those who have broken the law cannot be subject to this reasonable restriction.” Tom Daubert of Patients and Families United, a medical marijuana advocacy group, said the decision “recognizes that medical marijuana is entirely legal for any Montanan suffering from a qualifying medical condition whose doctor recommends it.”“I think this decision only affects a tiny number of Montanans, but it's hugely important to their quality of life and their ability to alleviate their pain and suffering,” Daubert said.Koch said she isn't sure Montana voters “understood that the medical marijuana act was going to go this far. There is the very real possibility that a person convicted of drug distribution can get a medical marijuana card and there is nothing probation and parole officers can do about it.”Daubert said it was the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes that got some of them in trouble with the law in the first place.“All the people on probation whom I know who were convicted of a drug offense are actually legitimately suffering patients whose use of marijuana either predated our state law or who didn't understand the law as an affirmative defense and pled guilty to a crime they didn't actually commit,” he said.Koch stressed that the decision to exclude the marijuana provision from probation and parole rules does not mean the department endorses the use of marijuana.“The use of marijuana is not in the best interest of the public or of offenders, who are responsible for rehabilitating themselves while under supervision in the community,” Koch said.The issue came up as the Department of Corrections was developing standard conditions for offenders on parole or probation.The agency had proposed prohibiting the use of medical marijuana unless the offenders obtained a judge's exemption.The probation and parole rules, scheduled to take effect June 13, include a prohibition on gambling, firearms and alcohol use; allowing searches of an offender's home and random testing for alcohol or illegal drug use; and offenders' payment of court-ordered fines and restitution.Source: Missoulian (MT) Author: Amy Beth Hanson, Associated PressPublished: May 30, 2008Copyright: 2008 Missoulian Contact: oped missoulian.comWebsite Related Articles:Corrections' Rule on Marijuana Criticized Policy Would Violate Medical Marijuana Law Marijuana - No Medicine for Parolees
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on May 30, 2008 at 16:28:40 PT
Ore. Supreme Court Rules Moving Marijuana Illegal
 May 30, 2008 PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Helping a friend move a few plants to his new house can get you into trouble with the police, if they happen to be marijuana plants.The Oregon Supreme Court ruled Friday that a man who helped his friend move things could be convicted on marijuana possession charges.Thomas Fries argued he should be acquitted because he was acting at his friend's direction and just helping with the move when he loaded the plants in his SUV.But the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that physical control of property is sufficient to prove actual possession.The court noted there are exceptions in the law that permit people to possess marijuana in limited situations - but this was not 1 of them.Copyright 2008 The Associated Press
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Comment #3 posted by Commonsense on May 30, 2008 at 12:31:55 PT
dongerero: "Does this really need to be argued????
I can see how there could be some question about whether people on probation or parole could legally use medical marijuana. The terms and conditions of probation and/or parole parolees or probationers sign are almost always going to contain provisions about violating state or federal laws. Possession of marijuana, and certainly growing marijuana, are federal crimes even if these activities might be allowed for people in medical marijuana programs in states where medical marijuana is legal. 
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Comment #2 posted by dongenero on May 30, 2008 at 12:04:04 PT
probation in Montana
In Montana, do they withhold access to medical care for those on probation?I hear them saying they don't allow gambling or alcohol use, which in itself seems odd as they are legal and not a privilege allowance as driving is. But, what I want to hear is if they withhold medical care from parolees.Can a parolee receive prescription pain killers, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs or sleep aids?Does this really need to be argued????
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 30, 2008 at 11:05:44 PT
Press Releases: PR Newswire  - Vote Hemp
Hemp for Vermont Bill Becomes LawMay 30, 2008
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