An Arizona judge has granted a woman’s request to be able to use medical marijuana while on probation even though the defendant had accepted a plea agreement that prohibited her from using it.
Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Celé Hancock granted Jennifer Lee Ferrell’s motion to have a provision in her plea agreement that prohibited her from using medical marijuana while on probation thrown out, according to The Daily Courier.
A recently-added provision to the County Attorney Office's plea agreements prohibits defendants from growing, possessing or using marijuana, "whether or not the defendant has a medical marijuana card."
Jared Keenan, Farrell's attorney, argued that prosecutors cannot prohibit use of medical marijuana as a condition of probation because state law allows medical marijuana use, abc15.com reported.
"It's a plea agreement. It's not a plea smorgasbord. (The defendant) doesn't get to pick and choose" the conditions, stated Deputy County Attorney Kevin Schiff.
The judge objected to a line in the plea agreement that said the court "shall" include the marijuana prohibition in any probation order.
"When you say 'shall,' you are interfering with the judicial branch (of government)," the judge said. "My issue with this paragraph is, it makes a condition of probation mandatory upon the court and prevents the court from modifying this condition of probation."
Dennis McGrane, Chief Deputy County Attorney, said the office would appeal the ruling.
Ferrell had accepted the plea agreement stemming from an arrest last October. The plea agreement included charges of DUI, resisting arrest and attempted aggravated assault on a police officer.