Articles Tagged with California marijuana lawyer

Law enforcement leadership for years were on the side of tighter marijuana laws. But now, it seems there may have been a substantial shift. police lights

A recent poll of 8,000 officers by the Pew Research Center finds that almost two-thirds of them believe marijuana should be legal for either medical or personal use.

This was a survey that was nationally representative, which mean it took into account a myriad of factors of police demographics. It was also one of the largest surveys of its kind ever conducted.

According to the report, a third of officers said cannabis should be legal for both recreational and medicinal use, while 37 percent opined it should only be allowed if someone needs it as medicine. Thirty percent said marijuana shouldn’t be legal whatsoever.  Continue reading

Every single month, there are more than 22 million Americans use marijuana, medicinal or recreational, in the 28 states plus the District of Colombia where it’s legal in some form. Last year, national sales of marijuana reached an estimated $7.1 billion – which is what they are expected to reach in California alone in 2018. marijuana

And yet, a new comprehensive report on the health effects of marijuana indicates that so much of the benefits – and real dangers – of the drug are unknown because, as researchers explain, the federal government has continuously blocked efforts to conduct research that would provide concrete – reliable – answers.

The study, conducted by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, presents approximately 100 conclusions related to the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoid use. The report also makes a series of recommendations for agendas of government, health organizations and researchers to expand and/or improve the kinds of studies being conducted so the public will be adequately informed about their current and future health decisions.  Continue reading

There are a lot of reasons to make California a vacation destination. Now, the newest it seems is recreational cannabis. airplane

On the West Coast, we now have California, Washington, Colorado, Oregon and Nevada that allow recreational marijuana. The only other places allow it are Alaska, Washington D.C., Massachusetts and Maine. For people who live in all the states in between, most are limited to recreational marijuana access, if they have it at all. It’s anticipated that legal marijuana is going to be a major driver of tourism to these states in the coming years.

This has resulted in a number of ancillary cannabis businesses, including travel agencies booking “tours” of various dispensaries and must-see sites. Travel research company MMGY Global reports that while overall travel to California didn’t surge much right after the election, it did spike 23 percent when looking at just Millennials. It also increased notably among households that earned $100,000 or more – presumably because they had more discretionary income to spontaneously make that trip. But others could be planning a trip for the coming months or years.  Continue reading

Marijuana is now legal in 28 states as medicine and six states (including California) for recreational purposes. And yet, many workers are finding their employers unwilling to ease their previous rules on drug-free workplaces. It’s understandable that most employers don’t want their workers medicated or high on-the-job. However, some are still imposing arcane rules regarding off-the-clock use. It appears the athletes employed by the National Football League are no different. football

These individuals arguably have a lot more clout than most of us, but even they have been largely unsuccessful in their efforts to compel their employer to relax on their marijuana rules. Marijuana remains on the league’s banned substances list. Still, an increasing number of players are asking the league to change that.

Calls were again renewed with the recent arrest of Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields for misdemeanor marijuana possession. The criminal complaint alleges investigators launched an inquiry into a suspicious package that was making its way through U.S. Mail. It was suspected the package may be related to drug activity. Authorities reportedly followed it to Shields’ address, where he opened the door holding what appeared to be a blunt. Investigators observed a strong smell of marijuana coming from the home. Shields allowed investigators inside, and reportedly showed them several other marijuana and related items in a cupboard, including a jar of the plant and pot-laced muffins and candies.  Continue reading

There is no question that driving impaired or under the influence of any substance is unwise. Unquestionably, marijuana is known to contain compounds that can impede a person’s cognitive abilities and reflexes, which are imperative for driving safely. However, a new study reveals that the approval of medical marijuana is not met with an uptick in traffic fatalities, as many detractors for years insisted. driving

The study, published recently by the American Public Health Association, looked at at U.S. Traffic Fatalities from 1985 to 2014 in various states and compared their relationship to medical marijuana laws. Conducted by researchers at Colombia University, the University of California at Davis and Boston University, what they discovered was that traffic deaths fell in seven states where medical marijuana is legal and that, in general, states that had medical cannabis statutes tended to have reduced traffic fatality rates than states where the drug is strictly outlawed.

What’s more, researchers discovered that states with medical marijuana statutes had the impact of immediately lowering traffic deaths among younger cohorts. Specifically, those between the ages of 15 to 24 and 25 to 44 saw the most marked decreases during that time.Those between the ages of 25 to 44 saw gradual reductions every year thereafter. Continue reading

Even before California legalized the cultivation and sale of marijuana for recreational users, this state was already one of the country’s biggest producers of the drug in the country. Recently, The Orange County Register delved into just how big of a producer – and the results are somewhat astonishing, even to those of us familiar with the industry. field

California is known around the world to have some of the best soil for farming all types of agriculture. We grow some of the greatest grapes, winter vegetables, garlic, olives and almonds. But the biggest item produced? Cannabis.

The Register reports that not only is marijuana the most valuable crop in the nation’s No. 1 agricultural producer state, but we grow so much of it here that it blows the other goods out of the water. Reporters looked at figures from the California Department of Food and Agriculture for crops and production estimates. What they found was that estimated marijuana crop production was more than the other five leading agricultural commodities – combined.  Continue reading

Recreational marijuana is now legal in California. But that doesn’t mean it’s Ok for teens to use it for recreation, as there is evidence it can have negative health effects – and of course there is the risk of impaired driving. Although some marijuana advocates downplay these concerns as “Reefer Madness” ridiculousness, the reality is that if the marijuana industry is going to garner legitimacy, there needs to be a concerted effort to keep cannabis away from children who don’t have a medical reason to be taking it. teen

Part of the concern is that teens do not view marijuana as harmful as they once did. Research at the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program indicated that the harmfulness perception of marijuana among eighth-graders fell by 14 percent in Washington state since the drug was legalized. It fell by 16 percent among those in 10th grade. In states where marijuana has not (yet) been legalized, perceptions of the plant’s harmfulness fell at much lower rates, between 5 and 7 percent.

Still, there is competing evidence about whether this translates to more teens actually using the drug for fun. For example, the U.C. Davis study indicated marijuana use by Washington’s eighth-graders spiked 2 percent since legalization, while increasing 4 percent among 10th-graders. In non-legal states, marijuana use fell by about 1 percent. However, a study by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment indicated the percentage of high school students there who used marijuana was actually smaller than the national average – 21.2 percent in the previous 30 days (down a percentage point since before legalization) while the nationwide rate of teen marijuana use was a bit higher at 21.7 percent. The department concluded that “marijuana use (among teens) has not increased since legalization.”  Continue reading

Every year, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration conducts a survey of the country’s law enforcement departments to determine which drugs are of top concern in local communities. What they found in 2016 was that heroin was far and away the drug that created the greatest worry. Marijuana, meanwhile, was generally of negligible concern. Less than 5 percent of all police agencies indicated cannabis was their biggest concern, which was down 1 percent from 2015. marijuana buds

Marijuana remains illegal for all reasons per federal law, which the DEA staunchly defended over the summer. The agency spent a full 22 pages of its Drug Threat Assessment report on marijuana. Compare this to the 16 pages it spent going over the risk of prescription painkillers, which claims 14,000 lives annually. Many of the pages on marijuana wove through the state-level differences in law for medicinal and recreational pot, as well as some of the legalization trends of the U.S. For anyone who has been following the changing landscape of marijuana laws in California, none of this is really new information.

However, one of the more interesting claims made by the DEA in that report is that media attention on marijuana-related issues has made it tougher to enforce existing marijuana laws and to prosecute those who violate these statutes. The agency also seems to be blaming “the media” for providing the public with information that is not accurate on the effects and legality of using marijuana.  Continue reading

When voters approved Proposition 64 in November, the promise was that by Jan. 1, 2018, recreational cannabis users could walk into a licensed store to purchase their favorite strain of marijuana. Meanwhile, the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, which involves a number of new regulations for medical cannabis sales, is slated to roll out around the same time. However, there is evidence to suggest that the actual timeline for legal marijuana commercialization is going to be pushed back to 2019.marijuana

A recent report published in The Cannifornian indicated that government leaders and industry insiders have posited that difficult regulatory challenges have to be hammered out before recreational marijuana becomes legal. Speaking at the recent Emerald Cup, held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, government regulators noted that prohibition on cannabis lasted so long and was so complicated, that the process of ending it is not going to happen overnight – even with this vote.

For example, Lori Ajax, chief of the California Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, noted there are a number of challenges created by the different structures of the two new marijuana laws, and there may be conflicts between the two that need to be resolved. Each take very different approaches to things like residence requirements, timelines, license categories and ownership. One of the primary questions, says Assemblyman Jim Wood, is whether this will result in two parallel marijuana regulatory systems or a single system that somehow combines the two.  Continue reading

With the election over and recreational marijuana approved by California voters, people still have many questions about what this is going to mean in their day-to-day lives. One of the most common questions our marijuana lawyers receive: “Am I now exempted from an employer drug test?”

Unfortunately, no.buds

Although recreational use of the drug is now legal, the new law specifically holds that companies have the right to keep a drug- and alcohol-free workplace. They reserve the right to hang onto policies that disallow the use of marijuana by workers or prospective workers. Many employers in contact with cannabis advocacy group California NORML say they intend to keep their current drug screening policies, many of which do not allow the use of marijuana.

Companies say it’s not just that they are trying to be a stick in the mud. Those in human resources explain there are some legal concerns, first as far as federal law goes. Although California law now allows recreational and medicinal use, the federal government does not. The second concern stems from liability. A worker who is required to operate heavy machinery or be on high alert cannot be under the influence of any substance, including marijuana. Continue reading