Most marijuana users don’t need “Drug Court” – but it can be a good option for those with more serious substance abuse issues.

“Drug Court” is a sanctions-based program, where chronic drug users are given the chance to have their cases dismissed if they agree to clean up. Intensive counseling is combined with frequent urine screening. Those who mess up are given increasingly stiff sanctions. It starts out with having to sit in the jury box and watch court for one day, to a night in jail, then 2 nights in jail, until the participant gets the message – or flunks out.

The problem is it’s typically too intense for your basic marijuana user, unless there is a codependency issue. In fact, I’ve recently had to get marijuana clients out of drug court, the program was more hassle than what it was worth.

But, for someone with a serious drug dependency issue, who was looking for an opportunity to get free drug placement, and now has a criminal charge, drug court can be a good choice. Other options such as §541(e) or DPA are often better for marijuana cases. Whether any program is right for you depends on the facts of your case and can only be made in consultation with your attorney.

  • Superior Court Drug Court Intervention Placement Standards
  1. Must have a verified substance dependency problem
  2. Must complete a current substance abuse assessment, and
  3. At least one of the following:  3 positive drug tests within the past 12 months, or verified history of drug treatment within the past 6 months, or a positive (+) test on the date of arrest, arraignment or spot test,
  4. USAO & PSA approval.

As always, these requirement can and do change, and special exceptions can always be made in compelling cases.

Categories: Marijuana Laws

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