On Tuesday, Arizona’s Supreme Court ruled that the state cannot prevent convicted felons and people on probation from smoking or purchasing medical marijuana.
In what will hopefully become a landmark decision with nationwide ramifications, the court ruled prohibiting one’s medicinal use of cannabis as unconstitutional. Ironically, the case centers around two individuals cases, one of which had a lot do with marijuana, while the other had more to do with alcohol.
Each case and this general issue raises the overarching question: is it fair to prevent patients from accessing their medicine even if they did something wrong? That answer, at least in Arizona, is now a firm now.
In one case, a man convicted of possessing marijuana for sale in Cochise County was forbidden from using marijuana by a probation officer after he was released from prison.
That’s simply amazing. A man arrested for selling a plant medically legal in Arizona was supposed to be banned from smoking weed. Did he commit a “crime?” Technically so, but certainly not a violent crime that should result in the revocation of one’s freedom to medicate.
In the second, a woman pleading guilty to DUI in Yavapai County refused to accept abstention from marijuana as a term of probation, prompting the prosecution to withdraw the plea agreement. Both had valid medical-marijuana cards.
Because maybe if she smoked weed, she’d order in instead of driving out.
The Supreme Court ruled that both had the right to use marijuana for their medical conditions and that prosecutors and courts could not block that right as a term of probation. [AZ Central]
When we talk about medical marijuana, we talk about its powers to help individuals cope with obstacles in life and to eschew prescription drugs (and alcohol). This ruling could pave the way, or at least begin the discussion, for the federal government to do the same.