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The state Supreme Court ruled on Friday that possession of more than 8 pounds of marijuana is a serious enough charge to warrant forcing medication on a defendant so he is competent to stand trial.
The high court's 7-0 ruling came in the case of 30-year-old Christopher Seekins of Torrington, who authorities say has been ruled incompetent to stand trial because he refuses to take psychotropic medication for bipolar disorder. Justices upheld a lower court judge's order to medicate Seekins against his will.
State law says a defendant can be involuntarily medicated if the crime is serious enough and there is an overriding law enforcement interest in determining whether the defendant is innocent or guilty. Seekins argued that possessing marijuana isn't a serious crime.
Judge: Prison Can Forcibly Medicate Tucson Suspect
A judge ruled Wednesday that prison officials can forcibly give the Tucson shooting rampage suspect anti-psychotic drugs in a bid to make him mentally fit for trial.
U.S. District Judge Larry Burns' decision came after Jared Lee Loughner's attorneys filed an emergency request last week to prevent any forced medication of their client without approval from a judge. The judge said he did not want to second guess doctors at the federal prison in Springfield, Mo., who determined that Loughner was a danger.
Defense attorneys said Loughner had been forcibly medicated since June 21.