Appeals court says no MMJ on probation

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Word is drifting out of Denver that on Feb. 2, the Colorado Court of Appeals overturned a previous ruling that held it was OK for those on probation to continue to partake of medical marijuana.

The case verdict, The People of the State of Colorado v. Leonard Charles Watkins, comes courtesy of an e-mail blast from Legalize 2012, one of three campaigns actively seeking to change our state's marijuana laws.

First, the campaign offers this summary of the court ruling: "Previously, probation departments across Colorado had wide discretion into whether or not a patient on probation would be allowed to use their medicinal cannabis. With the Court of Appeals ruling, the ability of probation officers to address individual patient situations on a case-by-case basis has been eliminated and replaced with a statewide 'Zero Tolerance' policy for medical cannabis use and probation."

And here's the judges' reasoning:

"In light of the holding in Slayton, the recognized purpose of section 18-1.3-204(1), and the fact that the federal statutes prohibiting possession or use of marijuana (even for medical purposes) authorize punishment by confinement, we conclude that defendant’s federally prohibited use of medical marijuana would constitute an 'offense' within the meaning of section 18-1.3-104(1). See § 18-1-103(1), C.R.S. 2011 (provisions of title 18 'govern the construction of and punishment for' any state offense 'unless the context otherwise requires')," reads the opinion.

So, tough blow for those who need medical cannabis while on probation. And here's Legalize 2012's solution.

"The Cannabis Re-Legalization Act citizen's ballot initiative, which was also filed on 2/2/12, would solve this problem by replacing the flawed language of Colorado's Medical Marijuana Amendment with a broader and better-written law," reads the statement. "First, the Cannabis Re-Legalization Act makes cannabis use a fundamental Constitutional right for Colorado citizens. Then, the Cannabis Re-Legalization Act protects all cannabis users by prohibiting the government from punishing them or denying them any right or privilege for their cannabis use."

So there you have it: Another lost right for MMJ patients, and another marijuana legalization campaign on the scene, joining The Relief for the Possession of Cannabis Act of 2012 and the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

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