Medical Marijuana Patient Could Be Headed To Jail After Testing Positive For Pot
A disabled Iraq war veteran says he’s now fighting to stay out of jail. He’s been accused of violating the terms of his probation, but he maintains he did not break the law.Shawn Maxfield is not allowed to leave his home in Hartland. He’s under house arrest until next week, when he’s scheduled to begin serving three months in jail for violating his probation after testing positive for marijuana. But Maxfield believes he’s done nothing wrong. Last month, a doctor approved his use of medical marijuana to treat acute seizures brought on by epilepsy. Maxfield had already filled out the necessary paperwork with the Department of Health and Human Services and was awaiting his medical marijuana identification card to arrive in the mail when he tested positive. “I definitely feel screwed by the system,” Maxfield said. “I did what I can. I’m battling my own stuff and trying to do things right. They’re just sending me back.” Maxfield is a disabled Iraq war veteran who returned home from combat with a serious opiate addiction. He says that addiction led to some legal trouble. “I had some run-ins with the law and I got put on probation. I put myself into treatment and I’ve been doing that for six or seven months.”Maxfield was sentenced to two years probation after a burglary conviction. That probation was set to expire at the end of this month. That was until the positive test. He says he has contacted a lawyer. “He definitely thinks I got a great case,” Maxfield says, “I just gotta pay for it.”If Maxfield loses his case and goes to jail, he stands to lose his military benefits. “Over the holidays, who can afford it? If I’m over 60 days, I lose my check, it drops my VA comp check. I mean I can’t afford it.” Shawn Maxfield’s case has generated interest from the folks at the Medical Marijuana Caregivers Association of Maine. They say some in law enforcement have been reluctant to acknowledge Maine’s medical marijuana law approved by voters back in 2009. “We’ve continually had issues with some law enforcement such as the Two Bridges Regional County Jail where they’re destroying patients state legal medical marijuana, claiming they’re enforcing federal law. So we’ve encountered some resistance,” says Paul McCarrier, a member of the Medical Marijuana Caregivers Association of Maine. “But mostly it’s been from the corrections system such as probation.”The group is planning rallies and fundraisers to help Maxfield with legal expenses. “Right now Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine will meet as a board to discuss the issue,” McCarrier says. “But there is definitely veterans and individuals out there in the medical marijuana community who feel like this person should be supported.” But time is running out. Maxfield is scheduled to go to jail the end of next week.TV5 News has tried to contact Shawn Maxfield’s probation officer but he hasn’t returned our phone calls. Maxfield is asking a judge to postpone the date he’s scheduled to turn himself in so he can raise the money to pay for an attorney. If that motion is denied Maxfield must surrender himself to the Somerset County Jail on December 16th.