HARRISBURG - The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania today ordered the Lebanon County Court of Common Pleas to temporarily halt enforcement of its policy that prohibits the use of medical marijuana by patients who are on probation and other forms of court supervision. The court also announced that it will consider the case using its King’s Bench power, a procedure that allows the Supreme Court to consider cases of “great public importance” without first going through the lower courts.
Earlier this month, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania filed a class-action lawsuit against Lebanon County on behalf of three people who are on probation, are registered medical marijuana patients with the state Department of Health, and use medical marijuana to treat their significant disabilities.
The following can be attributed to Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania:
“Our clients and others like them are in dire need of their medication. Medical marijuana helps them lead healthier, fuller lives, and the Lebanon court’s policy is both needlessly cruel and in violation of state law. The Supreme Court’s action today was the right thing to do.”
The following can be attributed to Witold Walczak, legal director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania:
“Today’s order from the Supreme Court is a great relief to our clients. They have been given a terrible choice between using their medication and risking jail or not using their medication and suffering the physical and emotional consequences. We look forward to explaining to the court why policies like the one in Lebanon County are illegal and must be struck down.”
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court asked the parties to submit briefs in the case by December 9. More information about the lawsuit is available at this link.