Problem-solving courts have developed across the United states to offer specific offenders, including those with substance use or mental disorders, alternatives to incarceration that often involve community-based treatment services and judicial supervision. At the same time, dozens of states have legalized the use of cannabis for medical or recreational purposes, even as cannabis use remains illegal under federal law. State legalization of cannabis use has introduced legal and medical complexities for problem-solving courts, particularly concerning the management of offenders who use cannabis. This article reviews implications of cannabis use for defendants’ eligibility and participation in problem-solving courts, with a focus on adult drug courts and mental health courts. This article also examines a range of policies, such as abstinence-based, tolerance-based, and adaptive approaches, that problem-solving courts may consider implementing. Further research is needed to characterize existing problem-solving court policies toward cannabis use and to develop evidence-based practices that courts may follow.
© 2019 American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.
- PMID: 31533992
- DOI: 10.29158/JAAPL.003883-19