Parolee Sues Minnesota Department of Corrections Over Medical Marijuana Denial
Darrell Schmidt suffers from anxiety and PTSD. He’s also on parole. But his court-granted supervised release is in jeopardy, because he uses medical marijuana to treat his mental illness. Despite his state authorization to possess and consume medical cannabis in Minnesota, Schmidt’s parole officer threatened to revoke his parole over his use of the drug, effectively denying him access to his medication. Now, attorneys representing Schmidt are suing the Minnesota Department of Corrections over the denial. And they hope the case will set a precedent for future parolees who utilize medical cannabis treatments legally.
Lawsuit Aims to Protect Parolees’ Right to Access Medical Cannabis in Minnesota
When Darrell Schmidt saw a doctor about his anxiety and PTSD, he received a prescription for an anti-depressant. But after experiencing severe side-effects—a common problem with pharmaceutical anti-depressants—he asked his physician about using medical cannabis as an alternative. With his doctor’s recommendation, Schmidt registered with Minnesota’s medical cannabis program. Shortly thereafter, he began treating his diagnosed mental health problems with marijuana.
Parolees have to meet strict requirements to maintain the degree of freedom afforded by supervised release. Those requirements include routine drug screenings, including tests for THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. Knowing