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  • Ashley Slimak

One rule for all: Medical marijuana should be consistent across Pennsylvania

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

In Lebanon County, a policy was enacted that prohibits those on probation from using marijuana, even though they hold a medical card. An attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union asked the state Supreme Court to declare this policy illegal.

The attorney argued, a person on probation for a past offense who legally obtains a medical marijuana card should be held to the same standard statewide instead of being held to varying standards depending on the county he or she resides in.

Counties considering enacting the same policy as Lebanon County include Indiana, Jefferson, Lycoming, Elk, Forest, Potter, and Northampton.

Unless the policy is overturned by the state Supreme Court, the possibility exists that A probationer in one county could use medical marijuana without repercussions, while an individual in a different county on probation for a similar offense could end up going back to jail for legally using medical marijuana.

the Medical Marijuana Act approved in 2016 clearly states a list of qualifying medical conditions for medical marijuana use and mandates that those applying for a card must be under the ongoing care of a certified physician. Most importantly, the act includes that those who are issued a medical marijuana card are protected from arrest or prosecution for using it.

An attorney for the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts who represented Lebanon County argued that having a medical marijuana card does not show “medical necessity” and that having a card is “not the equivalent of lawful use.” He also stated that county courts should have discretion in whether to allow those on probation to use medical marijuana.

This argument creates conflicting rules depending on the county and gives discretionary power to probation judges that are not included in the legislation legalizing medical marijuana.


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