Ruling disallows probation ban on medical pot use

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- A new court ruling says Arizona judges can't order people on probation to not use medical marijuana.

A split ruling issued Friday by a three-judge state Court of Appeals panel in Tucson overturns a Cochise County Superior Court judge's order that a drug-case probationer not use medical marijuana.

The probationer had agreed to a plea agreement that included the prohibition but later tried to change it.

The panel's majority ruling says judges can normally prohibit use of marijuana as a term of probation. But the majority ruling says that authority must bow to the medical marijuana law's provision that exempts use of marijuana for medical purposes from criminal laws.

A dissenting judge disagreed, citing the probationer's acceptance of the terms of his probation.