Coloradans on probation can continue to use medical marijuana, the state’s Supreme Court ruled Monday, rebuking a district court judge’s decision from two years ago.
In a unanimous decision, Colorado’s highest court ruled that defendants with cannabis prescriptions are free to do so unless it could be proved that doing so would negatively affect their progress.
The ruling stems from a 2017 case involving Alysha Walton, who pled guilty for driving under the influence of alcohol. Walton received probation, but El Paso County, Colorado Judge Karla Hansen denied Walton’s use of medical marijuana because the defendant was unable to get a physician to testify on her behalf. Walton did provide documentation to show that she had an authorized prescription, but Hansen deemed that insufficient.
A 2015 Colorado law permits individuals with medical marijuana registry cards to continue to fulfill their prescriptions while on probation.
In their ruling on Monday, the state Supreme Court justices said they “disapprove” of Hansen’s judgment.
“The supreme court holds that the statute’s plain language creates a presumption that a defendant who is sentenced to a term of probation may use medical marijuana unless one of the enumerated exceptions applies,” the justices wrote. “The