Marijuana for Incarcerated Patients
A New Mexico judge has ruled that medical marijuana patients cannot be punished for using cannabis while incarcerated. In a potentially precedent-setting case, District Court Judge Lucy Solimon granted a motion for declaratory judgement and petition for writ for Joe Montaño, who was penalized after correctional officers discovered marijuana in his possession while serving a 90-day sentence in home confinement.
The judge said that New Mexico’s medical cannabis law broadly protects registered patients, and those protections extend to people serving time in jails or prisons. The correctional facility “shall comply with the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act… and shall not penalize persons in custody or under the supervision of the Metropolitan Detention Center, including those in the Community Custody Program, for conduct allowed under the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act,” Judge Solimon wrote on Tuesday.
That’s consistent with an amendment to the state’s medical marijuana law that was approved last year. It stipulates that a “person who is serving a period of probation or parole or who is in custody or under the supervision of…