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Can You Get a Medical Marijuana Card on Parole/Probation?

  • In some states, people on probation or parole have restricted access to medical cannabis.
  • The best way to determine your eligibility is to speak with your probation officer, your parole officer, or the judge in charge of your case.

If you’re serving probation or parole and you want to apply for a medical card in Louisiana, you may be wondering if your legal status changes your eligibility.

The short answer is that it might.

Patients’ access to medical marijuana depends on their state’s laws, and this is also true for people on probation and parole.

While Louisiana laws don’t specifically forbid people serving probation or parole from getting their medical marijuana cards, other states have imposed restrictions—not to mention that people serving sentences in these ways should take additional precautions.

In this guide, we’re breaking it all down for potential cannabis patients: what the laws say in Louisiana and other states, how to get a medical card if you’re on probation or parole, and due diligence measures to take if you’re approved for medical cannabis.

Medical Marijuana and Parole or Probation: Considerations for Patients

Your access to medical cannabis as someone on parole or probation will depend on your state’s laws and other factors.

Let’s start with legal breakdowns for Louisiana and other states.

Louisiana State Laws

Technically speaking, people on probation and parole are allowed to apply for medical cards in Louisiana.

At present (and at the time of this writing), Louisiana laws do not prevent anyone serving parole or probation from getting a medical card and accessing medical marijuana via legal pharmacies.

However, cannabis regulations are still evolving in Louisiana, so it’s critical to review up-to-date legislation if:

  • Your legal status changes and you already have a medical card
  • You want to pursue a medical card while serving probation or parole
  • You’re the caretaker of a person serving parole or probation considering medical marijuana treatment

Even though it’s technically legal, anyone serving these types of sentences should take more measures and precautions than people who aren’t serving—we’ll touch on these later.

Laws in Other States with Medical Marijuana Programs

What do state laws say outside of Louisiana? Here’s an overview of other state regulations:

  • Alaska sometimes permits medical marijuana use by people on parole and probation
  • Arizona probationers and parolees may use medical marijuana
  • Arkansas prohibits the use of medical marijuana by parolees and probationers
  • California allows people on probation and parole to use medical cannabis in some cases
  • Colorado allows people on probation and parole to use medical marijuana
  • Connecticut allows medical cannabis use for parolees and probationers in most cases
  • Delaware laws are unclear
  • Florida allows people on probation and parole to use medical cannabis
  • Hawaii permits medical marijuana for people serving parole and probation by request
  • Illinois lawmakers are disputing access for probationers and parolees
  • Kentucky does not allow cannabis testing for parolees, but probation laws are unclear
  • Maine probationers and parolees are allowed to use medical marijuana in most cases
  • Maryland parolees and probationers may not use medical marijuana in most cases
  • Massachusetts allows parolees and probationers to use medical marijuana
  • Michigan allows people on parole and probation to use medical cannabis
  • Mississippi laws aren’t clear
  • Missouri does not allow medical marijuana access while on probation or parole
  • Montana parolees and probationers with certain conditions can use medical cannabis
  • Nevada permits medical marijuana for people on probation and parole
  • New Hampshire laws are not clear
  • New Jersey allows parolees and probationers to use medical marijuana
  • New Mexico allows people on probation and parole to use medical marijuana
  • New York allows parolees and probationers access to medical cannabis in some cases
  • North Dakota’s laws are unclear
  • Pennsylvania allows people on parole and probation to use medical marijuana
  • Rhode Island does not prohibit parolees or probationers from using medical cannabis
  • South Dakota does not prohibit probationers and parolees from using medical cannabis
  • Ohio does not prohibit probationers and parolees from using medical marijuana
  • Oklahoma law is unclear
  • Oregon laws aren’t black and white
  • Utah laws for probationers and parolees depend on the specifics of their sentence
  • Vermont does not allow most people on probation or parole to use medical cannabis
  • Virginia does not allow people on probation or parole to use medical cannabis
  • Washington permits recreational marijuana use for people on parole and probation
  • West Virginia does not prohibit parolees and probationers from getting medical cards

Key Steps for Patients on Parole or Probation

With the above considerations in mind, what should people on probation or parole do if they’re interested in pursuing a medical marijuana card during their sentence? Here’s a look at the process.

Speak to Your Probation or Parole Officer

You’ll notice that the list above contains numerous qualifiers like “in some cases.” This means that some states prevent some parolees or probationers (but not all) from accessing medical cannabis.

A state might not allow someone on probation or parole to access marijuana if:

  • The court has deemed them a danger to themself or others
  • The person was charged with drug-related crimes
  • They don’t have a significant medical need

How will you know if one of these restrictions applies to you? By talking to your parole or probation officer.

This is the first step for anyone on probation or parole—talk to the person handling your case who has a clear understanding of the laws around observation-based sentences. Even if your state would allow you to use medical cannabis, your parole or probation officer will help you decide if pursuing a medical card is worth the risk and your time.

Consult the Judge Assigned to Your Case

In some scenarios, your probation or parole officer may recommend that you file a motion with the judge assigned to your case.

This motion would give you a chance to:

  • Explain your medical need for cannabis
  • Get express permission from the judge assigned to your case
  • Have that permission confirmed in writing

Simply put, a judge’s permission to use medical cannabis is critical. If you’re interested in using medical cannabis during your sentence, this is a vital step in the process that will help you protect yourself from further incarceration.

Make an Appointment with a Healthcare Provider

Once you’ve received permission in writing from a judge, the next step is applying for a medical card.

Most states require applicants to:

  • Visit with a healthcare provider
  • Get a written recommendation for medical cannabis
  • Provide that recommendation, identifying documents, and other details to the state

In some cases, your provider may be able to help you complete and submit your application. But your cannabis-informed provider will also play a critical role throughout your healing journey; they’ll help you create a treatment plan, refine your dosage and administration strategy, and achieve your health and wellness goals.

Due Diligence for Patients on Parole or Probation

If you’re on parole or probation, you’ll likely be under the watchful eye of your state’s legal system. Since medical cannabis remains a hot-button issue in some states, you should take extra due diligence measures to protect yourself if you choose to register for your state’s medical marijuana program:

  • Never drive under the influence. Driving under the influence of marijuana could jeopardize both your permission to use cannabis and your legal standing, and it’s highly unsafe. Never drive high.
  • Never exceed your prescription volume. Since you may be subject to unexpected home searches, take care to follow your state’s possession limits. While these are difficult to enforce for many patients, people on parole or probation will face additional scrutiny.
  • Protect yourself legally. Using medical marijuana while on probation or parole—while allowed in many states—is legally risky since marijuana remains federally illegal. Consider retaining an attorney to help you navigate this process, cut red tape, and protect yourself as much as possible.

Start Your Medical Cannabis Journey with TeleLeaf

Medical marijuana has offered revolutionary healing results for people looking for plant-based, all-natural solutions. But if you’re on parole or probation, choosing this healing route can incur legal risks—or it may not be an option until your sentence is complete.

When you need help navigating complex laws surrounding medical cannabis, you need a community of providers and patients who are on your side every step of the way—and that’s what makes TeleLeaf the best online medical marijuana card service on the market today.

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Sources:

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https://www.legis.la.gov/Legis/Law.aspx?d=96986

Prison Legal News. Washington DOC Ends Marijuana Testing for Parolees.
https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2016/jun/3/washington-doc-ends-marijuana-testing-parolees/

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McElfresh Law. Medical Marijuana and Probation.
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