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Medical marijuana card not a license to smoke on probation, court rules

Thumbnail image for man smoking marijuana from a bong on flickr cropped.jpg
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The Colorado Court of Appeals has weighed in on the question of whether a medical marijuana patient can smoke while completing a probationary sentence that specifically nixes drug use. The judges' answer in a decision on view below? A resounding "no" justified in part by references to the case of Jason Beinor, a medical marijuana patient who was fired from his job as a street sweeper after failing a random drug test.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for that carol chambers photo.jpg
Carol Chambers.
The man at the center of the latest controversy is Leonard Charles Watkins. At the time of a 2010 package by 9News, Watkins was reportedly on probation in Arapahoe County following a 2005 conviction involving sexual assault on a child. Nonetheless, a judge had sanctioned his use of MMJ, much to the chagrin of 18th Judicial District DA Carol Chambers. In an e-mail statement to 9News, Chambers wrote, "Does anyone think it's a good idea to allow a convicted sex offender to get high? People on probation have admitted to violating the law. There are different public safety concerns and different laws that apply to them than apply to the rest of the community."

Chambers's office subsequently appealed the decision allowing cannabis medication. Hence, the current case, in which Watkins argued that Amendment 20, which legalized medical marijuana in Colorado, "is paramount and necessarily prevails" over probation rules that forbid him from using or possessing "any narcotic, dangerous or abusable substance without a prescription."

To that, the judges wrote, "We are not persuaded." Here's their elaboration on that point:

The Amendment provides that it shall be an exception from the state's criminal laws for any patient in lawful possession of a "registry identification card" to use marijuana for medical purposes.... Under the Amendment, however, a physician does not prescribe marijuana, but may only provide "written documentation" stating that the patient has a debilitating medical condition and might benefit from the medical use of marijuana... Therefore, defendant's physician's certification does not constitute a "written lawful prescription" as required by the terms of his probation.

Just as important is this passage:

As a division of this court recognized in Beinor, the Amendment created a defense to criminal prosecution and is not a "grant to medical marijuana users of an unlimited constitutional right to use the drug in any place or any manner."

Page down to read more about the case, including the complete ruling.



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61 comments
luke
luke

What counties allow medical marijuana use on probation? I saw the map that had some counties that allowed it no questions asked. Is Montezuma county one of the twelve that allow medical mj use on probation? This is bs. They are taking away our right to a natural form of medicine rather than having to take all these harmful pills the dr. prescribes. I will not go to the dr to get pain pills, I will smoke medical cannabis even if I can't on probation, I still will smoke when I'm off. F these CO judges who proposed this law. I hate the court system. They're hurting us more than they are helping us with this bs probation crap.

Senlaane
Senlaane

Hugs not drugs.......Oh Wait? Isn't that got him on probation to start with? Atleast I'm sure that's what he claimed happen.

Marshall
Marshall

Won't it be ironic when it's discovered that the medical cannabis is the only thing keeping Watkins from sexually assaulting more children? When Ms Chambers asks, '"Does anyone think it's a good idea to allow a convicted sex offender to get high? ', I'd ask, what if cannabis mellows out his perverted sexual urges? She seems to be confusing cannabis with alcohol.

Colorado Mmj Patient
Colorado Mmj Patient

What is the point of Amendment 20 if people cannot medicate? This is NOT about getting "high," IT IS ABOUT MEDICINE. They need to start seeing this as medicine and NOT AN ILLEGAL DRUG.

edit- they should just go get a script for Marinol so they can piss hot.

George
George

Pharmaceuticals are illegal without a prescription so by their logic they also should not be allowed to people on probation. This judge is a partisan idiot.

Phillip Barton
Phillip Barton

 

 DA Carol Chambers shouldhave done her job that the people pay her to do & put Leonard CharlesWatkins in prison instead of a lazy ass plea bargain that gave him probation forsexual assault on a child. Now she wants to put him in prison for using MMJ. I guessshe thinks using MMJ is more dangerous then sexually molesting a child. 

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

You ever been cited for spelling ? "The only one I have been in are ones I could not avoid." LOL! ... that's what drunk drivers say too !

DaveMan50
DaveMan50

Oh, wait? I think this was America, at one time. The next time I get too stoned to drive? When is was that? I am a pot smoker from Calif. living in Las Vegas. I learned to drive on Calif. freeways and have never been sighted for an accdent. The only one I have been in are ones I could not avoid. Smoking make you safer! My friend.

DaveMan50
DaveMan50

Caroll is brain washed. Marijuana (Hemp, Cannabis) is not a narcotic even though all the law dogs insist it is! Legalize it! Is my health more or less important than your laws! Screw you, I didn't vote for this crap!What happened to Ameica?

Sharpshooter
Sharpshooter

Yeah, what the fuck do you think this is? What's next, you want a special license plate designating how special you are? Or maybe you expect the cops to call you a cab the next time you get too stoned to drive and have a loaded gun in your car, is that it? Maybe we should amend the constitution for you, add a special provision saying you can't be arrested when you go out and get fucked up on the taxpayer dime. You're living in a fantasy land, my friend, because NOBODY in Colorado has that kind of special treatment........oh, wait.

Mike
Mike

Carol Chambers don't give a damn about anything but putting people in jail for a long time, and keeping them there at all cost! She could care less about lives, just convictions.

Do the world a favor, and do whatever it takes to get her out of the DA's office, and don't elect her for ANY public office!http://blogs.westword.com/late... 

Perpetua
Perpetua

This is just plain wrong. The government should stay out of people's lives, and ESPECIALLY out of their medical decisions. Shame on CAROL CHAMBERS.

housemusic3
housemusic3

fully legalize it.  It's time.  Get out and vote in 2012.  Legalize it completely

Bakojoe1
Bakojoe1

Just have primary physician prscribe marinol, and there, failed drug test w/ federally okaed script.

PhilDeBowl
PhilDeBowl

Another asswipe judge letting her morals dictate the oppression of citizens.

Wyatt J. Larew
Wyatt J. Larew

I am sorry but I have to go weigh in on this. This is very sad. If someone is Terminal and they are on probation they are required to suffer until their Death? This judge has no business being on a bench in my opinion. His decision is telling me that the law is more valuable than human life and suffering. I am in this position right now. If there is anyone else out there that is terminal and on probation for a misdemeanor just do this..... Here is the real hard core truth of the matter! If you are terminal and on probation for a misdemeanor they will NOT revoke your probation for smoking marijuana! I promise this is the sad truth the justice system does not give 2 craps about you your well being or making sure justice is served! They just want your MONEY!!!! This is how it works buddy I promise call your PO out like I did. I said I am smoking marijuana there is nothing you can do to stop me I refuse to live my last days sick from medicine you people are making me put in my body. REVOKE me I don't care! Then tell him the hard sad truth this is how it works, If you revoke me I go to jail for 6 months right??? Wrong you are terminal. Let me tell you something the MOST LAZY person in the world for a job that would be called a Jail Bailif! A judge knows this as soon as your probation officer revokes you and you go to jail and then that lazy ass balif has to take you to the hospital daily after 3 days a judge will say" We dont need him dieing on our watch because he was not given the appropriate health care and we get sued TIME SERVED" your out no fines no community service nothing!!!!!!! Plus you have to understand if they have to send a balif to the hospital with you thats a person short in their jail! They cant afford to have your little personal body guard. Not for a misdemeanor. So You tell that to your PO and I bet there is no problem as long as thats all you do is smoke to eat and not be sick. They want those probation fees baby that what its about. They want you to pay them 10hr for every hr of community service you have. This is nothing more than a business I am part of it and see it and live this shit every day so think I am crazy if you want to or see the truth Because I do exist and this is my life!

Legalize2012.com
Legalize2012.com

SOLUTION: The Cannabis Re-Legalization Act would eliminate this issue by:1) making cannabis a fundamental right in the Constitution2) prohibiting the government for denying a citizen any right or privilege for their cannabis use. The Cannabis Re-legalization Act is the ONLY solution at this point in time. We need to fix the Constitution and supercede the flawed language of the medical marijuana law to protect patients. As long as patients are singled out as "different", they will always be discriminated against. True legalization is the only solution. Sign the virtual petition online:http://www.Legalize2012.com/

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Pharmaceuticals -- or any drugs -- aren't allowed while on probation or parole unless the convict has a valid prescription from a licensed physician.

Marijuana is not prescribed in Colorado, so it is not allowed to be used when serving a criminal sentence.

Neither is Alcohol for that matter.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Oooh ooooh, I know ... because Marijuana is a Schedule 1 controlled substance ??

What'd I win ??

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

**** Legalize Marijuana Like Oregano !! ****

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Good luck finding a physician willing to prescribe Marinol.

Ever wonder why Colorado doctors only issue recommendations ?

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

Apparently you will have to prove to the court that it's just Marinol.  There is a test that will determine if it's Marinol or smoked marijuana.  The test costs $2500.00 and will be the responsibility of the probationer to pay the cost.  This will be part of the new probation rules that you have to sign when starting probation.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

"This is very sad. If someone is Terminal and they are on probation they are required to suffer until their Death? "

Read the tragic story of Peter McWiliams ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P...

And some fools in Colorado want to give the government more control over personal use of marijuana via their idiotic misleading I30 ballot initiative.

*** Vote NO on I30 ! ***

CandyinBoulder
CandyinBoulder

Looks like having Beinor overturned in the Colorado Supreme Court would clarify fundamental constitutional rights, also.  Have any of the industry groups supported Beinor?

Housemusic3
Housemusic3

no,  just legalize the ones that havn't caused a single death or overdose in 10,000 years of recorded human consumption.  Just leagalize the drug, thats far more safe to use than alcohol and tabacco combined,  no, dont leagalize all drugs,  just stop putting our youth in jail and destroying thier lives with criminal records and taking away scholarships for using a substance far safer and smnarter than anythingg else out there,  no dont leagalize all drugs, just the ones our founding fathers grew and used themselves.

Housemusic3
Housemusic3

 read, learn, take yiour head out of the sadn and rethink your life.

"Prohibition... goes beyond the bound of reason in that it attempts tocontrol a man's appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things thatare not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles uponwhich our government was founded" -Abraham Lincoln

"The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerablyby the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for thegovernment and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced.It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country isclosely connected with this." - Albert Einstein quote on Hemp

"Two of my favorite things are sitting on my front porch smoking a pipeof sweet hemp, and playing my Hohner harmonica." - Abraham Lincoln (from aletter written by Lincoln during his presidency to the head of the HohnerHarmonica Company in Germany)

"Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth & protection of thecountry."- Thomas Jefferson, U.S. President

"Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow iteverywhere."- George Washington, U.S. President

"We shall, by and by, want a world of hemp more for our own consumption."

- John Adams, U.S. President

Monkey
Monkey

My Doc prescribes Valium and Vicodine while recommending marijuana. Next visit I'll ask for a sample of Marinol, see what he says. There is no threat to doctors prescribing Marinol, that's their job, they recommend marijuana because it's illegal to prescribe class 1 drugs. I would think prescribing Marinol would benefit the Doc, they could claim they offered all available treatments instead of just recommending weed. Who knows, maybe he will get mad and tell me to leave his office but I doubt it. I wonder if the people prescribed Cocaine must prove they got their Coc from a pharmacist or a crack dealer.

George
George

Thats illegal to force you to pay for the test. This war on people is out of hand.

Monkey
Monkey

Wow!! To prove the use of pharmaceuticals all you have to do is bring in the bottle with the script. Oxy is ok with a vial but with Marinol you have to have your fluids tested to make sure your taking it. I had no idea probation officers will be forced to make sure clients are taking their medicine. I smell a lawsuit from people who have to continue to pay more to prove their innocence than others based on the legal, FDA approved medicine they choose. Sounds like discrimination of Marinol, not weed. Imagine if they said you can use Vicodine but not the generic Hydrocodone and you had to preform expensive tests to prove which one you were using.

Ryan Regier
Ryan Regier

Keep fighting the good fight High Country Caregiver! I love your take on the shenanigans called MMJ. The government can stay the hell out of all our lives. RON PAUL 2012!!

PhilDeBowl
PhilDeBowl

Maybe it just seemed like three judges.

PhilDeBowl
PhilDeBowl

I read McWilliams book years ago,and it had a strong influence on me,when I heard about all of the bullshit that our government put him through,and how he died I shed a tear for him,and also for our Country,that such a thing can happen in a "free" Country.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

We'll be addressing your question in a future post, Candy. Thanks.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

It's worth the fight, but unlikely that it will be overturned.

The Appeals court ruling and rationale is sound -- Amendment 20 only provides an "affirmative defense" / "exeption" to the existing Colorado criminal laws regarding marijuana, and only for small, personal use quantities.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Don't blame the courts, blame the authors of Amendment 20.

**** Legalize Marijuana Like Oregano !! ****

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Exactly!

Legalize ALL Drugs ... just like Happy Meals!

PS: The inverse relation between hard and soft drugs vs. their ability to be detected is just The Grand Designer's preference for BigPharma and BigAlcohol. God hates hemp.

Monkey
Monkey

Nice one!! LSD and all drugs should be legal, people are capable of deciding for themselves what is appropriate to put in there own body. We don't need protection from ourselves, natural selection works best. If you ruin your life or die from drugs, that should be your punishment. If I'm allowed to eat all the chemicals in hot dogs, I should be allowed to eat anything I want, including flowers and drugs.

P.S. LSD wont show up on your piss test, people on probation can trip all the want. Pill smokers and poppers just have to wait 3 days to clear their urine and drunks only have to wait 24 hours. Stoners are by far the most discriminated against because it stays in your system so long and it's the number one (drug related reason) people go back to jail while on probation.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

LSD hasn't caused a single overdose death " Just leagalize the drug...and tabacco combined ... and destroying thier lives ... taking away scholarships for using a substance far safer and smnarter than anythingg else out there" Irony ... meter ... explodes. PS: the founding fathers owned, abused and fornicated with their Negro slaves. Should we bring back slavery in tribute to them?

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

"Religions are all alike - founded upon fables and mythologies." -- Thomas Jefferson

"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government." -- Thomas Jefferson

"In no instance have . . . the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people." -- James Madison 

"Lighthouses are more helpful than churches." -- Benjamin Franklin

"I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And in as much as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race." -- Abraham Lincoln

"I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts." -- Albert Einstein

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

You really think a competent ethical doctor can prescribe any scheduled pharmaceutical drug just because the patient requests it?

In order to prescribe a particular medication, the physician is bound by professional and ethical regulations that your particular disease or ailment is indicated for a particular drug's approved use.

And quite different from merely "recommending" that marijuana "may" help your condition, by prescribing a drug, he is responsible for actually determining dosage and monitoring your use and progress.

Please DO ask your doctor for Marinol, and report back to us what his response was.

Imagine, all the legal hassles of "medical" marijuana would be eliminated overnight if all the patients simply followed your scheme and asked for a Marinol prescription instead of some feeble mmj recommendation.

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

It's not illegal, probation is ridiculously expensive, you have to pay for all the supervisions, court costs, piss tests, all of it.... It's a privilege.  Don't like it, the alternative is jail.  In this case, the alternative is no marinol if you can't afford the test.

PhilDeBowl
PhilDeBowl

It cannot be argued that for some Cannabis IS medicine,used instead of more toxic and addictive medicines,are you really going to argue that they have to use the more dangerous choice because our stupid corrupt fucking government doesn't believe cannabis has medicinal properties.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

HipTip -- if you're drinking in church, it's likely that your case is alcohol related.

Sláinte !

HenryFord
HenryFord

You are allowed to drink in Mass if your case isn't drug/alcohol related.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

You aren't allowed to drink Alcohol while on probation/parole either.

And some fools want to "Regulate Marijuana LIKE Alcohol".

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