ACLU Sues Pennsylvania County Over Medical Cannabis Policy
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ACLU Sues Pennsylvania County Over Medical Cannabis Policy

The organization’s Pennsylvania chapter has filed a lawsuit against Lebanon County over a rule that bars people on probation from using medical marijuana.

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October 10, 2019

The Pennsylvania chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against Lebanon County, alleging that the county’s policy of barring people on probation from using medical cannabis violates state law.

The county announced in early September that as of Oct. 1, it would no longer allow registered patients in Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis program to use cannabis if they were on parole, according to a PA Post report. Under the new policy, if an individual tests positive for cannabis use during probation check-ins, the county may place him or her in violation proceedings, according to the news outlet.

The ACLU filed a class-action lawsuit in commonwealth court against Lebanon County’s court system and probation department, seeking a preliminary injunction, PA post reported. The organization hopes that the case has an broader statewide impact, according to the news outlet, as other counties, including Lycoming, Indiana, Jefferson, Forest, Elk, Potter and Northampton, maintain similar policies.

County officials have argued that they can ban parolees from using medical cannabis because it remains federally illegal, but State ACLU Director Vic Walczak believes the move violates state law, which makes no exceptions for people on probation, according to PA Post.