ARIZONA: State judges cannot bar those placed on probation from using medical marijuana if they are otherwise eligible, the state Court of Appeals ruled Friday. And that even includes those who were convicted for drug offenses.
Appellate judge Peter Eckerstrom said when voters approved the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act in 2010 they declared that those with a doctor’s recommendation and the required state-issued ID card are not subject to “arrest, prosecution or penalty in any manner, or denial of any right or privilege.” That “clear language,” Eckerstrom said, prohibits a trial judge from barring someone from using medical marijuana consistent with that law.
Eckerstrom did not dispute there are probably public policy concerns about letting someone with a long history of substance abuse, as in this case, continue to use marijuana for whatever reason. But the judge said these public policy debates are for the Legislature and, by extension, for the people through their constitutional power to make their own laws.
The ruling, which sets new precedent in Arizona, involves Keenan Reed-Kaliher, who was charged with possession of marijuana for sale and attempted possession of a narcotic drug for sale.