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420 with CNW – ACLU Sues County in Pennsylvania over Medical Marijuana

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Lebanon County’s Court System and probation department over their decision that prevents the use of medical marijuana by people who are on parole.

According to ACLU, Lebanon is not the only county implementing this policy; other counties include Elk, Forest, Indiana. Lycoming, Potter, and Northampton. ACLU is hoping that the suit will have implications in all the counties.

The suit was formed in September when Lebanon County announced that people who are on probation would no longer be able to access medical marijuana treatment even if they have medical marijuana cards.

The state ACLU said that if those on probation are found to have marijuana in their system during their probation check-in, they will not be detained immediately but maybe found in violation of their parole.

Melissa Gass was using medical marijuana to manage her seizures while on probation. However, it is about a month since she stopped using medical marijuana after learning of the new policies barring people on parole from using the drug.

At an ACLU conference, she said that she had 20 drop seizures in a span of two weeks after she stopped using medical marijuana. She adds that sometimes she gets warning symptoms before falling to the ground. After she stopped using medical marijuana, she cannot be able to perform most chores and was prescribed a bunch of other medications such as benzos.

Because marijuana remains to a federally illegal drug; officials from Lebanon and other counties argued in favor of the ban on medical marijuana, said Vic Walczak, the ACLU Legal Director.

According to Walczak, this is violating state law.

He further argues that according to the medical marijuana law, no one is exempted from using the drug. Therefore, even though the judges are not in agreement with the medical marijuana law, or do not support any person using cannabis, they should let the law take its course by addressing the complaints in the suit.

Lebanon’s spokesperson did not respond to Walczak’s comment.

There are at least seven other counties who are also barring people on parole from using medical marijuana, Walczak said.

The suit was filed as a class-action in the commonwealth court, and the ACLU is pursuing a preliminary injunction based on the lawsuit.

According to his estimates, in Lebanon County alone, there are around 60 medical marijuana cardholders on probation who will be affected by the ban. Analysts think this lawsuit may be of interest to cannabis companies like Sproutly Canada Inc. (CSE: SPR) (OTCQB: SRUTF) (FRA: 38G) and The Supreme Cannabis Company Inc. (TSX.V: FIRE) (OTCQX: SPRWF) since it touches on the right to access medical marijuana products by a section of the community.

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