Because the medical marijuana laws currently exist in a gray area, sometimes prospective patients that would benefit from its usage need help to navigate through a variety of obstacles. Not long ago, a man who was serving a term of felony probation sought treatment for the pain in his hand. After consulting with his doctor, it was clear that an old injury was causing persistent pain and swelling. Since it could not be alleviated through surgery, his only options included living with constant pain, relieving it through opioid use, or managing the symptoms with medical marijuana. While the man was desperate for relief, he did not want to expose himself to the dangers of prolonged opioid use, which are highly addictive. However, since marijuana can not be officially prescribed by a doctor, rather only recommended, he still ran the risk of violating the terms of his probation, which prohibit the use of illegal drugs. Therefore, with hopes of avoiding more legal trouble or even possible incarceration, the man began searching for knowledgeable California attorneys to help find an avenue that would allow him to use medical marijuana while on probation, eventually coming to San Diego’s McElfresh Law.
With extensive experience in dealing with California’s complex medical marijuana laws, attorney Jessica McElfresh reviewed his options and began working on his behalf. Attorney McElfresh took the man’s medically issued recommendation and filed a motion with the court to amend the terms of his probation. While the prosecution objected to the change based on alternatives being available and possible difficulty finding a job if a drug test is required, McElfresh argued that using opioids was a much riskier long-term treatment and since her client was already employed, that was not a concern. In the end, the judge agreed with McElfresh’s assertion and amended the terms to allow for his use of medical marijuana while on probation. This gave the man a great deal of comfort because he would now be able to treat his injury while serving the remainder of his probation without fear.
The outcome of an individual case depends on a variety of factors unique to that case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any similar or future case.