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"It is our position that the State of Minnesota and the Department of Corrections should not be invading the doctor-patient relationship."
CHASKA, MN, February 12, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The Minnesota Department of Corrections is being sued for denying Darrel Schmidt's statutorily protected right to use prescribed medical marijuana.
Mr. Schmidt suffers from PTSD, anxiety and depression. He was originally prescribed an anti-depressant, but that medication caused intestinal bleeding. His doctor, pursuant to Minnesota Statute 152.22, prescribed medical marijuana as a safer alternative to treat his symptoms. Schmidt is a registered, enrolled user of medical marijuana under the Minnesota medical marijuana law.
Despite his registration under the law and his prescription, the Minnesota Department of Corrections and their probation agent Jason Pauly have denied Mr. Schmidt use of the medication. Mr. Schmidt was told that if he chose to follow his doctor's advice, he would be faced with a parole violation, and possibly sent to prison or jail.
Mr. Schmidt's right to utilize this medication to treat his diagnosed mental health conditions is protected by Minnesota law under state Statute 152.22. Schmidt's complaint alleges that the Minnesota Department of Corrections and Jason Pauly are violating that right without lawful authority.
When reached for comment, Schmidt's attorneys Randy Knutson and Patrick Casey of the Knutson + Casey law firm (http://www.knutsoncasey.com) stated, "Prior to filling this lawsuit we contacted Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson and the head of the Department of Corrections to try and resolve the issue and make sure our client could use his medically prescribed medication. Neither agency responded, or provided any explanation or legal justification for their policy. The lack of a response left us no choice but to pursue a lawsuit to enforce Mr. Schmidt's rights, and to hopefully protect the rights of all Minnesotans going forward."
The lawsuit requests a hearing for temporary restraining order that would allow Schmidt to take his medication as prescribed, and order that the State of Minnesota cease violating other parolees' and probationers' rights.
Attorney Casey added, "This is a widespread problem throughout the state. People are on probation or supervised release, and are being told on the one hand that they have to take the prescribed medication Then they are being told that they cannot take that particular medication, even though it is protected by Minnesota law. It is our position that the State of Minnesota and the Department of Corrections should not be invading the doctor-patient relationship."
Mr. Schmidt is represented by attorneys Randall Knutson and Patrick Casey of the Knutson + Casey Law Firm, of Mankato, Minnesota. The case is entitled Darrell Schmidt v. Jason Pauly and Minnesota Department of Corrections, Court File No.: 10-CV-19-54.
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