"Stow man facing jail time for taking FDA-approved medicine containing a medical marijuana compound."
WEWS- TV (ABC)
December 28, 2018
Excerpt from the article:
But Franz Ward LLP Attorney Tom Haren says those letters are only good for criminal possession charges.
"The Affirmative Defense is silent on how that interacts with someone who is on probation for an unrelated criminal offense," said Haren.
Haren says this exposes a part of Ohio's Medical Marijuana Control Program roll out that legislators might not have realized would be a problem down the road. He says it's up to the legislature to clarify how they want the courts to handle people on probation who use medical marijuana, just like they specified similar rights for employers.
"They can refuse to hire, they can suspend, discipline, and fire people who use medical marijuana in violation of a drug-free workplace policy," said Haren.
But he says responsibility also falls on the legal system and law enforcement to learn about the law, while also falling on patients to consult with a lawyer if they are on any form of medical marijuana while also on probation. He says since the law is so new, it's already caused confusion when someone with an Affirmative Defense letter is involved in a traffic stop.
"Then, once it gets into the court system, the confusion doesn't end, it just gets more confusing," said Haren.
Since medical marijuana is expected to be available in Ohio within weeks, chances are high that it will intersect with the justice system much more frequently.
"Litigants, criminal defendants are going to be using medical marijuana and courts should be families with how the program works, how it operates, what's prohibited, what's permitted," said Haren.