Probation, Drug Testing, Opiate Addiction, and Medical Marijuana???

Anyone wonder how the MA courts view MMJ cards in regards to probation and drug testing? I know its a major shocker, but yes we know someone who has had experience in this department. I was interested in finding out how the MA MMJ system works in regards to probation and random drug screens so I asked and figured I would share what I found out.

First off our friend has dealt with addiction on and off for for some time and he now uses Marijuana medically in place of chemical Opiate substitutes like Soboxone or Methadone. He has tried to use Suboxone in the past but feels that substance can perpetuate the problem. So we were curious to see if the courts agreed with this controversial treatment.

So while there is a protocol in dealing with MMJ patients, it’s actually pretty unclear and is looked at on a per case basis. So the answer is, it depends on the court, the probation officer, and the judge for the most part. Our friend ended up on probation with random drug tests out of 2 courts and was still allowed to smoke Medical Marijuana with his card. So how did it work and was it easy to navigate legal system with a MMJ card?

Our buddy had 3 probation officers to deal with and 2 judges and they all had very differing opinions on the use of Medical Cannabis. 

First he encountered a probation officer out of Wrentham court where he was ordered mandatory drug screens. He informed her that he had a medical marijuana card and told her he used it in place of opiate substitutes. To his surprise she was not against it at all as long as he showed her his card. 

The way it works is you tell your probation officer then have to go in front of a judge and the judge has to okay the use of Medical Marijuana. Obviously, the probation officer’s opinion on it has a big influence on the judges decision.

What I found interesting is that if our friend was prescribed Suboxone, he would not have had to go in front of a judge for permission. Furthermore, a judge could not stop, pretend he could stop, or threaten to make him stop taking his pharmaceuticals.

Next was a supervising probation officer out of a different court who didn’t care what our buddy did as long as a doctor said it was ok. This guy even went so far to say that he could be sued for denying someone their medication.

Lastly, when our friend informed his probation officer in Haverhill that he had a Medical Marijuana Card, she told him that he must discontinue use until a judge made a decision whether he could take his medicine.

Our friend works very hard on his recovery and takes his plan very seriously. So he felt that this was a violation of his civil rights and in protest he continued to smoke Medical Cannabis. So when his drug screen came back positive his probation was violated and he was dragged back into court. The judge then insisted on a doctor’s note specifically stating that no other treatment would work for his symptoms. He was threatened with jail time and made fun of in the courtroom. The DA even cracked a joke about weed only being good to treat appetite loss!

Our buddy finally got irritated and called a civil rights attorney who told him to stand up for his rights and stay the course. The lawyer said that sometimes judges and P.O.’s try to scare people away from the medical marijuana program, but that if he persisted, nine times out of ten they don’t say no because they really can’t. When he brought the doctor’s note to the judge in Haverhill, the judge made a big stink over it and reluctantly agreed. So, in the end, he was allowed to take his medicine and be on probation out of two courts in MA, but it was a little like jumping through hoops.

It’s too bad that we still live in a place where a natural plant that has so many medical benefits is still vilified while consuming dangerous pharmaceuticals is the norm. Hopefully, we can all see through this illusion, rise as one, and stop polluting our people with chemicals. 




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