Medical marijuana use permitted during probation

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — A judge is allowing a woman to use medical marijuana while she’s on probation even though it was prohibited under the plea agreement the woman accepted.

Judge Cele Hancock of Yavapai County Superior Court made that decision Tuesday when she granted a motion on behalf of 43-year-old Jennifer Lee Ferrell, The Daily Courier ( ) reported.

Ferrell awaits sentencing in December on charges stemming from a 2012 arrest. The charges include DUI, resisting arrest and attempted aggravated assault on a police officer.

A provision newly added 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.”

Farrell’s lawyer, Jared Keenan, argued that prosecutors cannot prohibit use of medical marijuana as a condition of probation because Arizona law allows medical marijuana use.

Deputy County Attorney Kevin Schiff said defendants don’t get to pick and choose probation conditions. “It’s a plea agreement. It’s not a plea smorgasbord,” he said.

Hancock objected to a line in the plea agreement that said the court “shall” include the marijuana prohibition in any probation order.

Chief Deputy County Attorney Dennis McGrane said Wednesday the office would appeal the ruling.

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