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Tags: massachusetts | court ruling | drugs | probation

Mass. Judges Can Make Druggies on Probation Stay Drug-Free

Mass. Judges Can Make Druggies on Probation Stay Drug-Free
(Carla K. Johnson/AP)

Monday, 16 July 2018 05:25 PM

A judge can require a drug user to remain drug-free as a condition of their probation, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled Monday.

"Judges cannot ignore the fact that relapse is dangerous for the person who may be in the throes of addiction and, often times, for the community in which that person lives," stated the ruling, written by Associate Justice David Lowy.

In the case that led to the ruling, Julie Eldred, 30, who in 2016 was put on probation for a year on a larceny charge, with the stipulation she remain drug-free and submit to random drug tests, WBUR reports. When one test came up positive for the opioid fentanyl, she was sent to jail.

Eldred's attorney, Lisa Newman-Polk, argued being punished for a medical condition is unconstitutional and that Eldred was jailed for a relapse.

But the court threw out that argument, writing, "In appropriate circumstances, a judge may order a defendant who is addicted to drugs to remain drug free as a condition of probation, and that a defendant may be found to be in violation of his or her probation by subsequently testing positive for an illegal drug."

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The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled Monday a judge can require a drug user to remain drug-free as a condition of their probation.
massachusetts, court ruling, drugs, probation
193
2018-25-16
Monday, 16 July 2018 05:25 PM
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