Tag: Marijuana Reform

Colo Supreme Court: No Protection for Workers Who Use Marijuana

The Colorado Supreme Court yesterday ruled employers can fire workers who use marijuana outside of the workplace. The opinion in Coats v. Dish Network is here.

The supreme court holds that under the plain language of section 24-34-402.5, 13 C.R.S. (2014), Colorado’s “lawful activities statute,” the term “lawful” refers only to those activities that are lawful under both state and federal law. Therefore, employees who engage in an activity such as medical marijuana use that is permitted by state law 16 but unlawful under federal law are not protected by the statute. We therefore affirm the court of appeals’ opinion.

Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic and medical marijuana user who was fired from his job as a telephone operator at Dish Network for using marijuana in his off-job hours. [More...]

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CNN Premieres "High Profits" About Marijuana Industry

Welcome to Colorado. CNN's new series High Profits airs its first episode tonight. It's about the burgeoning marijuana industry, and tonight's episode is in Colorado.

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Marijuana Possession Now Legal in Alaska

In November, Alaska voters voted to legalize the personal use and possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The law went into effect today.

Alaska's new law, passed by voters in 2014, means people over age 21 can legally consume small amounts of pot, but individuals are not allowed to sell it or buy it. They are allowed to grow up to six plants and possess up to an ounce of weed. Smoking in public is not allowed.


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Spending Bill Denies Funding for Federal Medical Marijuana Raids in Approved States

Thanks to the passing of a little known amendmment inserted via amendment into the omnibus spending bill by by sponsors Rep. Dana Rorsbacher and Samm Farr, the DEA will be unable to conduct medical marijuana raids in states that allow medical pot. That's 32 states plus the District of Columbia.

Here's the actual text: [More...]

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Election Gains for Legal Marijuana

Oregon and Alaska have become the third and fourth states to legalize the personal use of marijuana for recreational purposes. In the District of Columbia, residents will face no legal repercussions for growing marijuana for personal use.

On tap for 2016: Legalization initiatives are planned for California, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada and Arizona.

On the medical marijuana side, Guam approved it while Florida did not. Overall, legal marijuana advocates had a big night.

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Denver's "Lab Rat Cages" Already Defaced

Colorado is spending $2 million on a campaign called "Don't Be a Lab Rat" to warn teens about possible brain damage from marijuana. As part of the campaign, life size rat cages have been set up at the Denver Public Library and Denver Skate Park (Photo via CBS Denver.) More are planned. The cage at the skateboard park has already been defaced. [More...]

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New York Times Editorial: Feds Should Legalize Marijuana

The New York Times has taken a bold step. Its editorial board is calling for the legalization of marijuana -- Repeal Prohibition Again.

The Times will feature marijuana legalization all week in a series of articles, High Time. Here's the first article, Let the States Decide. [more....]

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Recreational Pot Sales Begin In Washington State

Washington state opened its doors to recreational marijuana sales yesterday. There were long lines and very happy customers. James Lathrop, the owner of Cannibis City, came out at 9:00 a.m. with a big pair of scissors to cut the tape and said:

It's time to free the weed.

Among those who waited in line for hours:[More...]

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Colorado Recreational Marijuana Laws Enter Second Phase

A big change went into effect for Colorado marijuana businesses yesterday. Effective July 1, 2014, recreational marijuana business licenses are no longer restricted to those with existing medical marijuana licenses. Now, if you are a Colorado resident and meet the other requirements, you can apply for a recreational marijuana business license. Even better, you don't have to grow in order to be licensed to sell, and vice-versa. As the Denver Post reports:

[W]hen these new businesses begin opening in October, all recreational marijuana companies will be allowed to specialize — as wholesale growers without a storefront, for instance, or as stand-alone stores that don't grow their supply. The only requirement is that owners be Colorado residents.

Legal recreational marijuana is now at the 6 month mark. It contributed $11 million in retail sales taxes to the state's coffers in the first four months. According to a study by the Drug Policy Alliance:[More...]

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Hershey Sues Edible Company Over Look-a-like Candies

Hershey Chocolates has filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit against TinctureBelle LLC and TinctureBelle Marijuanka LLC, a Colorado company that makes marijuana-infused candy.

Hershey claims the packaging for the edibles too closely mimics its trademarked products. It also objects to TinctureBelle's online advertising. The complaint (Case No. 14-cv-01564-WYD, District of Colorado) includes photos of the alleged infringing products. [More...]

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DEA Threatens MA Medical Marijuana Doctors

Massachusetts enacted a medical marijuana law in 2012. Recently, shortly after the first licenses were approved, the DEA began visiting MA physicians associated with medical marijuana dispensaries and giving them a choice: Give up your DEA license to prescribe most medications, or give up your association with dispensaries.

The stark choice is necessary, the doctors said they were told, because of friction between federal law, which bans any use of marijuana, and state law, which voters changed in 2012 to allow medical use of the drug.

The DEA’s action has left some doctors, whose livelihoods depend on being able to offer patients pain medications and other drugs, with little option but to resign from the marijuana companies,where some held prominent positions.

The DEA gets progressively more out of step with the Department of Justice, Congress and state legislatures every day. Its budget is bloated and it desperately needs new leadership. DEA Director Michelle Leonhart, who presumably approves tactics such as these, should be asked to resign and a more enlightened director should be appointed to take her place. You can sign a Change.Org petition to remove her here.

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TX Teen Faces Potential Life Sentence for Hash Brownies

Texas teen Jacob Lovaro was caught with 1.5 pounds of baked hash brownies and cookies, plus a pound of marijuana and $1,645. in his apartment. He's facing a potential life sentence because the he used hash oil instead of pot. In Texas, the quantity of drugs used for sentencing purposes in cases involving hash oil includes the weight of the brownies, not just the hash oil.

The prosecutor in the case has issued this statement explaining why the penalty is so high. [More...]

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FBI May Loosen Hiring Policy on Marijuana Use

Congress has authorized 2,000 new hires for the FBI, and the FBI will be filling many of the positions with computer programmers and hackers in its fight against cybercrime. The problem, according to FBI Director James Comey, speaking yesterday at a white collar crime conference:

“I have to hire a great work force to compete with those cyber criminals and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview,” Mr. Comey said.

Up until now, the FBI has asked applicants whether they have used marijuana within the past three years. Comey says the agency is changing "its mindset and the way we do business" and working more outside the box:

One conference goer asked Mr. Comey about a friend who had shied away from applying because of the policy. “He should go ahead and apply,” despite the marijuana use, Mr. Comey said.

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House to Vote on Defunding Medical Marijuana Raids

It's that time of year again, when the House Appropriations Committee considers the annual DOJ budget. In the next several days, an amendment will be offered defunding medical marijuana raids in states with laws permitting use of medical marijuana.

Representatives Rohrabacher and Farr will be introducing an amendment to this measure to prevent any of the department’s funding from being used to interfere with medical marijuana programs in states that have approved them.

The amendment would prevent the Department of Justice from using taxpayer funds to interfere in state-sanctioned medical marijuana programs.

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Uruguay President: Treat Pot-Smokers Like Cattle

Uruguay President José Mujica tells Fox News that Uruguay's new law legalizing marijuana is better than Colorado's new law. Why? Because in Uruguay, they regulate users, not just sellers. Under their new law, pot-smokers will be treated like cows.

“Right now, every cow, 13 million of them, are registered here,” Mujica said. “We know where they were raised, what they eat – we’re the only country that does that,” he said. “We are going to apply a process just like that to marijuana laws.”


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