By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
Parolees in Washington might actually look forward to going back to the joint. The Department of Corrections announced that most of those released on parole, about 14,000 individuals, may now use marijuana without being subject to random testing. Recreational marijuana use is legal in Washington after voters passed Initiative 502.
Annmarie Alyward, DOC’s assistant secretary said, “We’re putting some changes into effect so that we won’t routinely test offenders in the community for THC.” Delta-9 THC is the psychoactive compound in marijuana. “We don’t want them held to that level when, as a citizen, you wouldn’t be held to that level either. There’s no way the department of corrections is endorsing the use of marijuana. We are simply aligning with state law.”
This certainly represents a great departure from conventional community correction practices of the past.
Washington now is the only state in the United States that allows parolees to consume marijuana. Colorado, a state having legalized recreational marijuana, continues to prohibit its parolees from the use of the drug.
Some in the profession have expressed doubts. The union representing Washington community corrections officers is concerned this might lead to officer safety issues.
Bill Copeland of the Washington Association of Corrections Employees’ Committee said “We know that [marijuana use] can lead to behavior changes and other problems with the folks that are on supervision.”
According to the DOC, judges will have the authority to prohibit parolee marijuana use on a case-by-case basis, along with the DOC itself. The state will study the effect of this ruling in the future.
With the tight budgetary situation in the state in the past several years this might prove to be a cost saving measure. Now, the DOC will no longer, for the most part, investigate parole violations of those possessing small amounts of marijuana and experience the costs of transporting, housing and adjudicating parolees in parole suspension.
The cascading effects of marijuana legalization are just beginning.
By Darren Smith
KING 5 News
Washington State Department of Corrections
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13 thoughts on “Bong Hits For Parolees: Washington Department Of Corrections To Allow Parolees To Smoke Weed”
Is the rule the same for people on probation?
Aoda is a Jedi Knight.
@Nick Spinelli “If the parolee does not have AODA issues……”
AODA? What’s your problem with Druids?
Judge our behavior, not our ingestion.
Barking Dog, One of the reasons cannabis is the lesser of drugs used in the joint is because of the smell. “Oooh that smell, can’t you smell that smell.” But, I know you were just using joint as a homonym.
One ought to be able to smoke a joint in the joint.
BarlomDog – If they won’t let you smoke tobacco in prison, why should they let you smoke weed?
Paul, why wouldn’t some not like that statement:We know that [marijuana use] can lead to behavior changes and other problems with the folks that are on supervision
So too can be said of alcohol and even some prescriptive medications.
Logical extension to the recent House vote to stop going after mediweed users.
The President needs to get with the program, but that list is stunningly large.
OK, probably not a good idea but consistently under the law should trump this. As recreational toking is a legal activity in WA, it should be OK for parolees to engage it in…legally speaking. After all, we don’t we don’t tell them that they can’t drink…
If the parolee does not have AODA issues then I see no reason why he/she should not be allowed to smoke cannabis, as he would be able to go into a bar and have a beer. If there are documented AODA issues, there is urine analysis required. Drinking is easy to get by w/ as it leaves your system within 24 hours. Cannabis is detectable for 30 days or longer.
“Parolees in Washington might actually look forward to going back to the joint.” – Darren
Killer Weed! 😉
This actually makes sense. However, the following seems to show a downside some of our commenters will not like.
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