Is Marijuana Allowed In Prison? One California Appeals Court Says Yes!
Even though a California court has made this ruling, the inmates are still not allowed to use it — not surprisingly.
So last week, the Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento highlighted the language of Proposition 64 as they overturned five inmates’ convictions. These inmates were found with marijuana, but with this proposition, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is not a felony in California.
The ruling is quoted as saying, “The purpose of the language is to describe the vast array of means of consumption, and consumption, not possession, is the act the voters determined should remain criminalized if the user is in prison. This ruling goes on to say, “We agree with defendants that consumption can be achieved in ways not strictly involving smoking or ingesting, such as inhaled as a non-burning vapor or applied topically such that it is absorbed through the skin.”
Even with this being the case, the court claims that it is still a felony to smoke or ingest marijuana in prisons. Also, the ruling states that prison authorities are still within their rights to ban the possession of cannabis in prison to “maintain order and safety.”
According to California’s penal code, it is a crime for someone to bring some things into prison, including controlled substances and alcohol. Even with this being the case, possession is still permitted while consumption is not.
Paul Armentano, the deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), is quoted as saying, “I think it’s sort of a novelty decision. As is well-acknowledged, plenty of behaviors and activities may be legal under state law that are not necessarily permissible to those that are incarcerated.”
Armentano goes on to say, “This is one of these issues where such a loophole may exist, but it is arguably only going to exist for a short period of time. You’d be hard-pressed to make an argument that the majority of Californians, when they were deciding on this issue, were voting to allow marijuana in the criminal justice system.”
What do you think? Should inmates be allowed to use recreational cannabis in prison?