Can you use medical marijuana on probation in Colorado?

By | May 10, 2017

If you have a red card in Colorado, can you use medical marijuana even if you’re on probation? We’ll discuss your rights under Colorado and whether or not you can use medical marijuana while on probation.

What is a red card in Colorado?

A red card, also known as a medical marijuana card, indicates that a Colorado resident is eligible to receive medical marijuana through an approved medical marijuana dispensary.

Who is eligible for a red card?

Red cards in Colorado are only issued to those with limited, specific debilitating conditions, including:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Severe pain/nausea
  • Muscle spasms
  • Cachexia
  • Seizures

If you apply for a red card and do not have any of the aforementioned conditions, you will be denied the privilege of using medical marijuana.

You must undergo a medical exam from a licensed physician (i.e. an M.D. or a D.O.) in order to get a medical marijuana card. That physician also needs to fill out a form for you to submit to the state.

How to get a red card in Colorado

To get your medical marijuana card, you must:

  1. Apply for a medical marijuana card
  2. Schedule and attend your physician consultation
  3. Get your application notarized by a public notary
  4. Mail your completed application and necessary paperwork (including a copy of your ID and a Physician’s Certification Form signed by your doctor) to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Medical marijuana and probation in Colorado

What happens if you have a red card and you’re put on probation in Colorado? Can you still use medical marijuana?

The answer is it depends. Thanks to the passage of House Bill 15-1267, those with red cards are allowed to use medical marijuana on probation with permission.  

It’s important to note that while the bill recognizes medical marijuana as medicine, it also recognizes parole or probation as a privilege (as opposed to jail or prison). And since using marijuana is not a protected Constitutional right under federal law, the eligibility to use medical marijuana while on probation is not a guarantee.

Whether or not you are allowed to use medical marijuana is contingent on the court or your probation officer. If they determine you are unfit to use medical marijuana while on probation or parole, then there is nothing you can do. There is no law or legal authority that states you MUST be allowed to use your red card while on probation. It is completely up to the judge and or probation officer.

Can you get a medical marijuana card if you’re already on probation in Colorado?

Again, it depends. You must go through the aforementioned application process with the state, who will then approve or deny you a medical marijuana card. If you are denied, you can file a request for an appeal within 30 days.

Medical marijuana and probation: other things to consider

Please note that H.B. 15-1267 only applies to medical marijuana, not recreational marijuana.

If your probation terms do not allow you to use medical marijuana, you must respect those terms. Failing to do so can result in consequences ranging from fines to extended probation time or even jail.

Remember, the state is not entitled to let you use medical marijuana while on probation. Medical marijuana, as well as probation, is privilege, not a right.

Since marijuana is still illegal in the eyes of federal law, it is best to exercise caution and respect your probation terms if you are denied permission to use medical marijuana on probation.

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