Colorado Supreme Court Lessens Restrictions For Health-related Marijuana on Probation


The Colorado Supreme Court has overruled a district court choice that upheld a county court ruling requiring a doctor’s testimony for healthcare marijuana sufferers who want to use their medication whilst on probation. The Colorado Supreme Court choice, handed down on Monday, November 18, weakens the restrictions and burdens of proof that Colorado judges can spot on healthcare marijuana sufferers.

In their choice, the justices mentioned that unless a probationer’s healthcare marijuana use conflicts with the specified ambitions of sentencing, cannabis use really should be permitted.

“The relevant exception right here applies if the sentencing court finds, primarily based on material proof, that prohibiting this defendant’s otherwise-authorized healthcare marijuana use is vital and proper to market statutory sentencing ambitions. Due to the fact the county court produced no such findings right here, we disapprove of the district court’s judgment affirming the county court’s choice,” the choice reads.

A Colorado law passed in 2015 was supposed to let probationers to use healthcare marijuana unless convicted of a crime involving healthcare marijuana, or cannabis use undermines the ambitions of a person’s sentencing, but a 2016 DUI case in El Paso County led to the push for clarification, following El Paso County Court Judge Karla Hansen demanded that a healthcare marijuana patient deliver reside testimony from her medical professional about her have to have for the medication.

Alysha Walton, the patient charged with the DUI, could only deliver her state-authorized healthcare marijuana card and a signed letter from her recommending medical professional. Hansen eventually denied Walton’s request to continue working with healthcare marijuana, explaining that her requirement was universal for all healthcare marijuana sufferers on probation. A district court upheld Hansen’s choice on appeal, but Walton and her attorneys continued to argue that Hansen’s policy conflicted with the state constitution, and argued her case prior to the Colorado Supreme Court in October.

Walton’s have to have for healthcare marijuana and the authenticity of her doctor’s recommendation had been in no way questioned by the county court judge, according to the choice, which means that any additional probing of “the legitimacy of Walton’s authorization was misplaced.” The justices also criticized Hansen’s blanket policy that did not take into consideration the context of person instances.

“1st, the authenticity of Walton’s healthcare marijuana card was not at situation in this case — no 1 argued that Walton had not lawfully obtained her card or that she lacked state-sanctioned authority to use healthcare marijuana. Hence, the district court’s concentrate on the county court’s wish to additional probe the legitimacy of Walton’s authorization was misplaced,” the choice reads. “Second, the county court’s blanket policy contradicts the plain language of the probation situations statute, which calls for the court to base any choice to prohibit healthcare marijuana use on the certain defendant’s situations, following taking into consideration the material proof prior to it and the statutory sentencing ambitions.”

Whilst the Colorado Supreme Court noted that its choice will not impact Walton — her sentence and probation had been completed effectively more than a year ago — it creates a precedent that other healthcare marijuana sufferers will welcome.


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