Colorado Court Rules Patients On Probation Can't Use Medical Marijuana

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The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled on 2/2/12 that medical marijuana patients on who are on probation should not be allowed to use cannabis as medicine.

This ruling is a huge blow to medical marijuana patients statewide, many of whom will be forced off of their safe, effective and natural cannabis medicine and forced to use dangerous and expensive pharmaceutical alternatives. For many patients, cannabis is the *only* medicine that works for them, especially for patients who are using cannabis as a non-toxic alternative therapy to treat their cancer.

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.

The case is People v. Watkins (Court of Appeals No. 10CA0579). You can read the full opinion here:

The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that, since people on probation in Colorado are required to refrain from committing further offenses while on probation, the use of medical marijuana cannot be allowed, since marijuana is illegal under *federal* law. The Court of Appeals case comes, not surprisingly, out of Arapahoe County District Court where prohibitionist District Attorney Carol Chambers once threatened to prosecute patients if they testified at a trial on the Centennial medical marijuana ban.

The Court also cited a 2011 ruling in the case of Beinor v. ICAO, which stated that the authors of Colorado's medical marijuana law failed to establish a "right" to medical marijuana use.

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. 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.

We feel strongly that, in order to protect patients, cannabis must be legal for all citizens. It is only through full legalization that medical cannabis patients will no longer be singled out as a second class of citizens. The Cannabis Re-Legalization Act also requires state Attorney General John Suthers to file lawsuits against the federal government to stop their enforcement of federal marijuana prohibition laws, something he currently refuses to do.

Sign the virtual petition online:


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The Cannabis Re-Legalization Act is NOT Initiative #30. Educate yourself about the differences between the "over-regulation and prohibitive taxes" model vs the "true legalization" model.

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