A state district choose in New Mexico has dominated that inmates and parolees have a proper to make use of medical marijuana and that correctional establishments should present entry to hashish to certified sufferers, even when they’re behind bars. Final week’s ruling from 2nd Judicial District Decide Lucy Solimon was entered in a lawsuit in opposition to Bernalillo County’s Metropolitan Detention Heart introduced by Joe Montaño, an Albuquerque resident who was convicted of drunk driving in 2019.

After Montaño was convicted, he efficiently accomplished a court-ordered psychological well being remedy program and was allowed to serve a 90-day jail sentence below home arrest. Among the many situations for the sentence was a requirement that Montaño not use illegal drugs. After authorities realized of Montaño’s use of medical marijuana, he was jailed for greater than 30 days for violating the phrases of his sentence.

Attorneys for Bernalillo County argued that as a result of hashish continues to be unlawful below federal law, Montaño’s use of medical marijuana “was a violation of regulation opposite to his settlement to adjust to all metropolis, county, state and federal legal guidelines and ordinances.”

Solimon dominated that as a professional medical marijuana affected person, Montaño had the fitting to make use of medical marijuana below New Mexico regulation. Montaño is represented by legal professional and Democratic state Sen. Jacob Candelaria, who mentioned in an interview with native media on Thursday that the ruling applies not solely to these below home arrest or on probation, but additionally units a precedent for all incarcerated people within the state who’re certified medical marijuana sufferers.

“There’s no discretion below the Medical Hashish Act. You could permit this,” Candelaria said. “Whereas the legal industrial advanced could have pushback or some considerations — take these to the Legislature. As a result of till such time because the Legislature modifications the regulation, the regulation is evident: You could below current regulation present incarcerated individuals with the flexibility to entry medical hashish free from penalty. That’s the regulation.”

Decide’s Ruling Lauded

Duke Rodriguez, CEO and president of Extremely Well being, New Mexico’s largest medical marijuana supplier with 23 dispensaries within the state, praised Solimon’s ruling within the case and mentioned that it upholds the intentions of laws that legalized the usage of medical marijuana in New Mexico in 2007.

“It is a main victory not just for Mr. Montaño, however for each medical hashish affected person in New Mexico and throughout the USA,” Rodriquez mentioned in a press release from the corporate. “This ruling exemplifies the spirit of the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act: that hashish is drugs and each affected person deserves the authorized proper to entry their drugs.”

Candelaria mentioned that he’s ready to file authorized motion in opposition to any correctional amenities that fail to implement Solimon’s ruling.  A spokesman for the legal professional common’s workplace, which might defend the state in a possible lawsuit, declined to touch upon any impending authorized motion.

“Our workplace doesn’t oversee state prisons, so that will most likely be higher answered by the Division of Corrections,” Baca mentioned.

Candelaria mentioned that makes an attempt by jails or prisons to restrict entry to medical marijuana can be “disappointing, and the treatment shall be extra litigation.”

“As a lawyer, it’s not day by day {that a} resolution of this import and breadth occurs in your profession,” he added, noting the importance of the ruling. “It is a huge one.”