A state district judge denied a petition asking the court to force Bernalillo County and its Metropolitan Detention Center to allow those on house arrest to use medical cannabis if they have a medical cannabis card.
Second Judicial District Judge Erin O’Connell ruled from the bench during a telephone hearing on Tuesday. She said she denied the petition on the basis that it was out of her jurisdiction and that if she granted the petition it would conflict with the judges decision in a tangential criminal case.
“The criminal court took the plea in this case and sentenced the petitioner and issued conditions of release based on that plea,” O’Connell said. “The court therefore has concern that granting relief would potentially result in conflicting orders with the criminal court. The criminal case O’Connell referred to was that of Joe Montaño. In 2019, Montaño was convicted of drunk driving and, due to a plea agreement, was sentenced to drug court and Bernalillo County’s Community Custody Program, also known as house arrest.
Montaño previously spoke to NM Political Report about his past criminal convictions which ultimately resulted in him spending more than two decades in and out of prison.
Montaño didn’t hide the fact from county CCP officers that he used medical cannabis and during a home visit they found cannabis and paraphernalia.