Recently, Elevate Holistics had the pleasure of picking the brain of an attorney who specializes in cannabis. Because, even though the DHSS has laid out a lot of rules to guide us through the medical cannabis process in the Show-Me-State, there’s still some confusion surrounding certain topics like guns, caregivers, cultivation, medical marijuana probation, and more.

In the course of our conversation, this lawyer who was declared “One to Watch” in 2020 by MO Greenway magazine, shared some interesting news about medical cannabis for folks on probation and more decriminalization that may be coming our way.

Meet Cannabis Attorney Andrew Goodwin

Meet Kansas City-based attorney, Andrew Goodwin. He’s an experienced litigation attorney who has always been interested in cannabis. He’s witnessed first-hand the positive effects of cannabis on his injured clients that have helped them avoid or get off of opioids. He followed Amendment 2 in Missouri closely and was compelled to become involved in the cannabis industry. Drew and his partner’s legal services have written and won seven applications for cannabis businesses, three of which are for their company in St. Joe, Vertical Enterprise—that means he’s versed in the compliance of patients, cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensing. On top of that, he’s a cannabis adjunct professor at UMKC. (Sheesh, expert much?) 

What Drew Says About Medical Marijuana Probation, & Drug Court

While chatting with Elevate’s Russell Colby about MMJ and family court, Andrew offered up some new perspectives for anyone dealing with drug court or who may be on probation

Andrew Goodwin (Cannabis Law Attorney): Hey, on a related subject, I will say if you're under court supervision, like if you're on probation or something like that, I do think there is a path to be able to use your medical marijuana while you're under court supervision. And there's no rule about it, or a state official guidance on it. But I've talked to at least one drug commissioner who's told me for the first time he has some of these people in drug court, under supervision, being urine tested and that sort of thing, who are allowed to use medical marijuana with a patient certification. So pretty interesting.

Um, yeah … that’s definitely exciting. Andrew went on to clarify that it is not a rule and there’s not any guidance written on it; it is case by case.

Andrew Goodwin (Cannabis Law Attorney): It's up to the judge. But I know that if you are in drug court in Jackson County, I know that that drug court has already allowed people under supervision in the drug court to pee dirty for THC if they have a medical marijuana card.

The conversation then veered into decriminalization territory. Russell asked how it was determined, i.e., county by county, municipality by municipality, etc. 

Andrew Goodwin (Cannabis Law Attorney): Yeah. So I think the state law kicks in at an ounce or something. I mean, municipalities are allowed to criminalize or whatever they want, so long as it's not … Doesn't contradict the constitution. So they can't make medical marijuana illegal. But on local levels, yeah. There's been a push in Kansas City that even predated Quinton Lucas to decriminalize possession below certain amounts. And the main thing they were worried about was a person's record and their inability to get jobs. They addressed the job application process and that sort of thing. So it's a positive move. And on that adult-use bill that's coming in 2022, I do think there'll be some expungement-type provisions in that, as well, on a state-wide level.

This is excellent news, considering that medical marijuana is now legal in Missouri, and there are still many people paying too high a price for possession of amounts that are now legal with a patient card. 

Recap: Medical Marijuana Probation, Drug Court and Decriminalization Insights

  • If you are on probation or in trouble with drug court, there may be a way for you to still use your medical marijuana if you’re a qualifying patient.
  • This is not a written rule or state guidance for the court yet; it depends on the judge and other officials.
  • Bills are being considered to help expunge the records of those who have been in legal trouble for marijuana possession.

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