A schizophrenic man convicted of murder in 1999 has been granted permission from a judge to legally take part in Florida’s medical marijuana program.
According to the Miami Herald, 34-year-old Miguel Valdes was previously convicted for a 1999 gang-related murder, and was released on probation in 2010. Despite Valdes’ murder conviction, a Miami judge has granted him permission to legally use medical marijuana, given he follows the rules and guidelines established by state law. The judge’s ruling came amid strong objections from prosecutors and the state’s attorney.
“It keeps me mellow,” says Valdes, who currently lives with his girlfriend and 6-year-old son. “I really need it for my sleeping. When I’m not taking it, I wasn’t sleeping and I’d wake up in a bad mood. I feel better now.”
“Probation is one of those areas in which a lot of states lacked foresight when they crafted these medical marijuana programs,” says David Mangone, a lawyer for the medical cannabis advocacy group Americans for Safe Access.
According to Valdes’ attorney, the state’s medical marijuana law explicitly allows his client to vaporize marijuana for medical use.
“If his doctor prescribes something that has for thousands of years of history, everyone agrees is safe, [he] should be allowed to take it,” Attorney Bruck said at the hearing.