One proposal would require parolees to get permission from the Board of Parole Commissioners before being granted a medical marijuana card, according to The Nevada Appeal of Carson City. Parole cannot be revoked for using medical marijuana.
Parole and Probation Lt. Tom Ely told the board Thursday he doesn’t want to limit access for parolees with HIV, cancer or diseases such as glaucoma. But many parolees use medical marijuana for minor problems, such as flat feet or anxiety, Ely said.
“Most of them are only using (medical marijuana) to get around the rules,” he said. “We’re just looking to deny those who are looking for an excuse to continue to get high.”
If their drug use cannot be prevented, Ely said it makes recidivism more likely, especially for sex offenders.
Chairman Connie Bisbee said state law likely prevents the board or parole officers from requiring permission.
The board may ask the state Legislature, which begins meeting Feb. 7, to give parole officers the power to regulate medical marijuana use. But until then, not much can be done.
Commissioner Tony Coda said the board doesn’t have the medical expertise to make a decision about whether somebody should qualify.
About 3,000 people in Nevada have medical marijuana cards, according to the state Health Division. Although the law was passed about a decade ago, applications have skyrocketed, with more than 1,000 filed in the last six months.
During the upcoming legislative session, Democratic Assemblyman Paul Aizley, of Las Vegas, planned to introduce a bill to allow people to smoke marijuana without a state-issued card.