A huge complaint of probationers in Arapahoe or Douglas County has been that they are not allowed to use medical marijuana, despite a showing of medical need.
Probation Officers Have Tremendous Authority Over Probationers
If you are sentenced on a misdemeanor or a felony offense, your sentence will likely include a period of supervised probation. Defendants have been frustrated for years because the probation statute is very broad. Generally, the law allows officers to impose ANY conditions that will help the defendant lead a law abiding life. See C.R.S. 18-1.3-204. With language that broad, it is no wonder that jurisdictions routinely require UAs even in cases where alcohol and/or drugs are not implicated in the crime itself.
Changing Laws In Colorado
Fortunately, the law has changed and now probationers and parolees are allowed to use medical marijuana. Governor Hickenlooper signed the changes to the law into effect in May, 2015 (See CBS Denver’s post on the law change). Now the Court can no longer prohibit the possession or use of medical marijuana as a condition of probation.
If a defendant fails to comply with the terms of probation, that person will face a revocation proceeding. There are two ways that probation can be violated: (1) technical violations or (2) new law violations. Technical violations stem from a failure to comply with the specific terms, i.e. monitored sobriety, missed classes, failure to pay fees, costs, or restitution. New law violations occur when someone is charged with a new criminal offense while already serving an active probation sentence. Now, due to the changes in the probation statute, use of medical marijuana does not constitute a technical violation nor a new offense. As such, this cannot be the basis of a probation revocation. If you are on probation and have been threatened with revocation proceedings due to failed UAs and you have a medical marijuana license, consult with an experienced attorney.
Protect Your Rights With Expert Help
If you are subject to a probation revocation for a misdemeanor in Adams, Denver, or Jefferson County, the attorneys at the O’Malley Law Office can help make sure your rights are protected, including your constitutional right to use medical marijuana. We are experienced attorneys who devote ourselves solely to the practice of criminal defense. When you are accused of violating your probation, be smart, and consult with an attorney. Call us today at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.