March 27, 2015

"Historic" Marijuana Bill Introduced by U.S. Senators

The marijuana reform bill introduced by a trio of high-profile U.S. senators is being called "historic" for the way in which it would pave a path toward the drug's legitimacy nationwide.
congress3.jpg
It's a first for the Senate, and advocates are praising it for the fact that it is comprehensive. Even the Drug Policy Alliance was one of several groups consulted prior to drafting. The bill is being unveiled as a joint effort by Democrats Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand and Republican Rand Paul. It wouldn't legalize marijuana nationwide, but it would save patients from the threat of federal prosecution in states where the drug is legal.

Continue reading ""Historic" Marijuana Bill Introduced by U.S. Senators " »

March 25, 2015

California Lawmakers Lay Off Marijuana DUI - For Now

California state lawmakers will be mulling a myriad of issues related to marijuana in the coming months. In all, there are approximately 20 bills that address the drug in some form or another. driving3.jpg

Those measures were all filed before the deadline for the introduction of new laws in February. They include a new attempt at tighter regulations of the current medical marijuana industry, restrictions on how synthetic marijuana is branded and packaged and the quantity of marijuana that authorities can destroy following a raid.

But for the first time in three legislative sessions, what is not up for consideration is a measure that would impose criminal penalties for motorists with marijuana in their system. The bill had been flatly shot down twice before, and it seems this session, lawmakers decided to spend their energy elsewhere.

Continue reading "California Lawmakers Lay Off Marijuana DUI - For Now " »

March 23, 2015

Lawsuits Seek to Open Doors to Costa Mesa Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Two lawsuits against the City of Costa Mesa, filed in Orange County Superior Court, alleges the city blocked a special election on a medical marijuana initiative for purely political reasons, violating state election law. City officials counter they were guided in their actions by the California Constitution, which would supersede election statutes.
rollingajoint.jpg
Although access to medical marijuana was approved by California voters in the late 1990s, individual municipalities throughout the state have enacted ordinances that bar shops from opening in their districts. Costa Mesa was one of those.

The dispute centers on two different medical marijuana initiatives that were certified by the city clerk in October. Certification meant the two proposals had garnered enough signatures from registered voters - at least 15 percent. It also required the city to either approve and adopt the measures, or to initiate a special election to give voters the opportunity to decide. A special election, per local ordinance, would have to be held within 103 days of the decision, which would mean it should have been held sometime this month.

Continue reading "Lawsuits Seek to Open Doors to Costa Mesa Medical Marijuana Dispensaries " »

March 21, 2015

Marijuana Reformers Boycott Hotel for Federal Anti-Pot Lawsuit

Those who advocate for safe, legal access to marijuana for adults are calling for a boycott against New Vision Hotels Two, the company that owns Holiday Inn, after the company filed a lawsuit aiming to challenge legal marijuana in Colorado.
dutchweed.jpg
In Safe Streets Alliance and New Vision Hotels v. Medical Marijuana of the Rockies et al., filed in the U.S. District Court of Colorado, plaintiffs allege a state-licensed marijuana store violates federal law and caused the hotel to lose business. The law seeks treble damages, costs and attorneys' fees. The business also claims its brand could be damaged by the store.

However, the site in question hasn't even opened yet.

Continue reading "Marijuana Reformers Boycott Hotel for Federal Anti-Pot Lawsuit " »

March 19, 2015

Medical Marijuana Cultivator Sues Illinois Over Licensing

In 2013, Illinois joined the ranks of states that approved the legalization of medicinal marijuana. However, the process of implementing that law has been a bumpy one.
marijuanaholland.jpg
Eighteen months after the law first passed, the state's governor granted dozens of permits to select businesses to grow and sell the drug. It may be many months more before patients are able to gain access to the drug through the narrowly-drawn pilot program.

Part of what took so long to issue licenses, according to the new governor, was that his office had to evaluate existing applications to make sure the state wasn't vulnerable to legal liability due to procedures that were unclear. In all, Gov. Bruce Rauner's office issued 18 medical marijuana grow licenses and 52 sales licenses. This was out of 214 applications.

Continue reading "Medical Marijuana Cultivator Sues Illinois Over Licensing " »

March 17, 2015

Marijuana Legalization Legislation Pending in GA, MA, OH, TN, VT and TX

The number of states granting at least some measure of approval for marijuana sales, possession and use may soon increase, as several bills were recently introduced by state lawmakers in various pushes across the country.
smoking.jpg
It seemed unfathomable just a few years ago that the majority of states would someday allow the cultivation and distribution of marijuana, particularly given the fact the drug remains illegal at the federal level. But today, there are 23 states that allow medicinal marijuana and four - plus the District of Columbia - that have approved recreational use of the drug.

Currently, there are varying marijuana legalization measures pending in Georgia, Massachusetts, Ohio, Tennessee, Vermont and Texas. Each is different in nature and in scope, but collectively, these measures reflect the turning tide of acceptance when it comes to marijuana, both as medicine and as an acceptable form of recreation, akin to alcohol.

Continue reading "Marijuana Legalization Legislation Pending in GA, MA, OH, TN, VT and TX " »

March 15, 2015

Right to Smoke Marijuana at Home Challenged in D.C. Court

A pending $500,000 civil lawsuit alleges negligence, nuisance and trespassing and has resulted in a temporary, court-ordered injunction - all because one man smoked marijuana in the privacy of his own home.
cigarette3.jpg
Generally, one's home is considered sacred in terms of privacy. And that's the argument being made by the 53-year-old defendant, who argues he should be able to do as he pleases inside his own four walls.

His neighbors next door, on the other hand, allege his habits are a danger to their health and that of their young daughter, and that he has made it difficult to enjoy their newly-renovated home. The two properties share a common wall, and they say the marijuana smoke creeps into their daughter's playroom. Additionally, the woman is pregnant with the couple's second child, and fears the second-hand smoke could pose additional health hazards to the fetus.

Continue reading "Right to Smoke Marijuana at Home Challenged in D.C. Court " »

March 13, 2015

Marijuana Insurance Considerations Amid Expanding Legalization

As legalization of marijuana rapidly expands throughout the country, it has opened the doors to a host of questions and areas of concern regarding insurance coverage. It's not just about the possibility of civil forfeiture action or criminal arrest so long as the drug remains illegal at the federal level.
marijuanaplants.jpg
Among the areas in limbo: Commercial coverage, workers' compensation, product liability, healthcare insurance and more.

Right now, we're looking at 27 states that have either legalized or decriminalized marijuana possession and sale. Four states allow it for recreational purposes, and many others are expected to do so in the coming years. In fact, within the next four years, it's expected the marijuana industry is going to balloon to more than $15 million. There is great concern about liability issues, so there is a demand for insurance coverage. However, it can be difficult to secure because so long as there is a widely varying patchwork of laws, it's considered a high-risk venture.

Continue reading "Marijuana Insurance Considerations Amid Expanding Legalization " »

March 11, 2015

D.C. Police Chief Says Marijuana Arrests Erode Community Relations

Washington, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier recently spoke out against the legal framework under which officers have been forced to target marijuana consumers in recent years. She decried the system of prohibition for the way it eroded police-community relations, and said the only thing those arrests accomplish is "making people hate us."
police1.jpg
She stated marijuana smokers are far less a problem than drinkers of alcohol. No one who smokes marijuana is going to attack or kill an officer, she said.

"They just want to get a bag of chips and relax," she said. She later clarified that she doesn't believe consumption of marijuana is healthy, but added she is not policing the city as a mother and 7 out of 10 voters supported legalization in the city. In terms of public safety, it's a relatively benign drug with widespread acceptance, which means arrests tend to harm the community more than help it.

Continue reading "D.C. Police Chief Says Marijuana Arrests Erode Community Relations " »

March 9, 2015

Sheriffs File Lawsuit Against Colorado Over Legal Marijuana

Sheriff offices in Colorado and the neighboring states of Nebraska and Kansas have filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to do away with Amendment 64, the measure that legalized the sale of recreational marijuana, and also to shutter the state's hundreds of licensed marijuana sellers.
handcuffs3.jpg
The complaint asserts the state marijuana law directly contradicts the U.S. Constitution and, what's more, creates an unreasonable financial burden on nearby states and law enforcement agencies within its own borders. The lead complainant in the case is the sheriff of Larimer County, who characterized the lawsuit as a "constitutional showdown." Each day, he says, he is tasked with deciding whether to violate the state constitution or the federal constitution.

It is true that while marijuana for recreational use was legalized in Colorado at the start of last year, and yet it remains against federal law. The sheriff asks which constitution he should be responsible to uphold.

Continue reading "Sheriffs File Lawsuit Against Colorado Over Legal Marijuana " »

March 6, 2015

Investment in Marijuana Industry Must Be Approached With Caution

Calvin Broadus, Jr. (better known as Snoop Dogg, a.k.a. Snoop Lion), recently announced he is culling together a fund to invest in a number of marijuana industry start-up ventures. The long-time rapper and purported marijuana connoisseur is reportedly planning to invest $25 million in the rapidly-expanding industry of legal marijuana.
cash1.jpg
He is one of the any celebrities who have explored similar opportunities. Others include Ashton Kutcher, Jared Leto and Nas. Recently, the family of Bob Marley announced its intentions to use the iconic musician's name in furtherance of a corporation called Marley Natural. The goal of the new company will be to cultivate a line of fine cannabis, products, blends and accessories.

However, Snoop's investment is expected to a bit different in that it will not focus on the aspects of cultivation or production of the drug, but rather with the accompanying technology these firms will need as their operations branch out.

Continue reading "Investment in Marijuana Industry Must Be Approached With Caution " »

March 4, 2015

Conservatives Embracing Marijuana Reform

There was a time when conservatives were among the most vocal in terms of blocking access to marijuana - regardless of the purpose.
republican.jpg
That dynamic is changing, and the evolution has been rapid in recent years, evidenced again recently with the introduction of a Republican-drafted bill to end marijuana prohibition in Texas. Rep. David Simpson's bill would remove all language on marijuana from Texas statute. He says his support of such a move is rooted in his Christian faith.

Recently, he wrote in an opinion-editorial piece he didn't believe God made a mistake requiring government intervention when he created marijuana. This kind of attitude is growing among the conservative base, who not only cite faith but government overreach in support of marijuana legalization.

Continue reading "Conservatives Embracing Marijuana Reform " »

March 2, 2015

Marijuana-as-Medicine Defense Successful in Florida Cultivation Case

Florida is among the handful of states that have yet to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. And yet, a man who was caught growing some 50 plants at his private residence has been acquitted of marijuana manufacture - a third-degree felony in that state, garnering a maximum five years in prison - using the marijuana-as-medicine defense.
freedom1.jpg
It's the first time in Florida's history that this defense has been successfully used before a jury. Only two other cases before that have prevailed with the defense, and defendants in those cases were first convicted in a trial-by-judge before their conviction was overturned by the appellate courts.

The case shows just how far we have come in terms of attitudes toward cannabis, which remains, according to federal law, a Schedule I narcotic that is illegal to grow, harvest, sell, distribute or possess.

Continue reading "Marijuana-as-Medicine Defense Successful in Florida Cultivation Case " »

February 28, 2015

Mobile Marijuana Dispensaries Targeted by City Councils, Feds

Mobile medical marijuana dispensaries seemed to be a solution to a host of issues encountered by brick-and-motor locations. They could avoid issues with being too close to certain structures, such as schools or day care centers. They could deliver the medicine directly to patients who might otherwise be too ill to retrieve it themselves. They could move to areas as the demand shifted. There was less concern about civil asset forfeiture, and they created a reasonable means of entry into the industry.
deliveryvans.jpg
However, they have become a prime target of both federal authorities and local municipalities. Most recently, city council members in Pismo Beach, just south of San Luis Obispo, voted to outlaw mobile marijuana dispensaries.

The measure didn't come as a complete shock, however, as the city was merely updating its overall ban on medical marijuana dispensaries. There were no members of the public who showed up to speak on the issue, and council members had no discussion before passing the measure.

Continue reading "Mobile Marijuana Dispensaries Targeted by City Councils, Feds " »

February 27, 2015

Marijuana Munchies: Researchers Discover Neurological Link

U.S. researchers have long sought to explain the link between consumption of marijuana and the trigger in appetite - often referred to as "the munchies."
brainstudy.jpg
The connection is significant not just for the potential spike in Twinkies sales, but because it's this aspect of the drug that is often touted by those with certain serious illnesses and treatments resulting in major and potentially life-threatening weight loss.

Still, the munchies remained mostly a mystery of the drug - until now. Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine indicate they may have found - quite unexpectedly - the exact neurological responses behind the reaction.

Continue reading "Marijuana Munchies: Researchers Discover Neurological Link " »

Connect

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Justia Profile Avvo RSS Feed
Enter your email address: Delivered by FeedBurner

Contact Us

714.937.2050

Recent Entries

March 27, 2015 "Historic" Marijuana Bill Introduced by U.S. Senators The marijuana reform bill introduced by a trio of high-profile U.S. senators is being called...

March 25, 2015 California Lawmakers Lay Off Marijuana DUI - For Now California state lawmakers will be mulling a myriad of issues related to marijuana in the...

March 23, 2015 Lawsuits Seek to Open Doors to Costa Mesa Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Two lawsuits against the City of Costa Mesa, filed in Orange County Superior Court, alleges...

March 21, 2015 Marijuana Reformers Boycott Hotel for Federal Anti-Pot Lawsuit Those who advocate for safe, legal access to marijuana for adults are calling for a...

March 19, 2015 Medical Marijuana Cultivator Sues Illinois Over Licensing In 2013, Illinois joined the ranks of states that approved the legalization of medicinal marijuana....

March 17, 2015 Marijuana Legalization Legislation Pending in GA, MA, OH, TN, VT and TX The number of states granting at least some measure of approval for marijuana sales, possession...