Felons getting their hands on medical marijuana - CBS 5 - KPHO

Felons getting their hands on medical marijuana

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

You can get a prescription for medical marijuana in Arizona. The problem is so can felons, even those who've served time because of the drug.

From drug traffickers to murders who killed for drugs, there are numerous felons on probation for drug-related crimes but if they have a medical condition, they could be given marijuana legally thanks to the medical marijuana law.

"I think one of the problems with medical marijuana is that we are all sympathetic with people who are sick and who it might do good, but in many states that have adopted medical marijuana it simply becomes a situation where anybody can get marijuana because some doctors are not ethical about it," said Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne.

In New Mexico, Daniel Barrego was convicted of a home invasion where getting drugs and money was the goal; however, during the crime a 21-year-old man was killed. While on probation, Barrego was given a medical marijuana card and the judge in his case let him have access to the drug.

"If the doctor prescribed the medication and feels that it is medically necessary, I do not feel that I can interfere with that doctor-patient relationship," the judge said.

It is a decision that does not sit well with Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne.

"In general, I do not think that convicted criminals should be getting medical marijuana," Horne said.

Right now, there are restrictions that would not allow a felon to work at a dispensary or be a caregiver to someone with a medical marijuana card, but a patient with a prescription can access the drug regardless of their criminal history.

Horne says there have been attempts to make the marijuana law in Arizona more restrictive. The Department of Health Services has worked with the attorney general's office to pass rules that make it more restrictive and try to prevent felons from getting marijuana, but Horne says "we will not entirely eliminate those problems."

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