By Steve Elliott
The Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday issued two rulings barring courts and prosecutors from denying medical marijuana use as a term of probation, if the convicted felons in question have valid medicinal cannabis authorizations.
In the first case, a Cochise County man convicted of possession of marijuana with intent to sell was forbidden from using medical marijuana by a probation officer after his release from prison, reports Michael Kiefer at The Arizona Republic. In the second, a woman pleading guilty to DUI in Yavapai County refused to abstain from using medicinal cannabis as a term of her probation, prompting the prosecution to withdraw the plea agreement. Both had valid Arizona medical marijuana cards.
The Arizona Supreme Court ruled that both probationers had the right to use marijuana for their medical conditions under state law, and that prosecutors and courts couldn't take that away from them as a term of probation.
"The Supreme Court is recognizing what the people decided when they passed the initiative: You can use your medicine," said David Euchner, assistant Pima County public defender. Euchner argued in both cases as a member of Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice.
The court ruled, however, that the Yavapai County Attorney's Office had the right to withdraw from the offered plea deal because it had not yet been accepted by a judge.