Articles Tagged with marijuana attorney L.A.

When Colorado became one of the first states to legalize marijuana, there were voices of opposition railing it would be the gateway to harder drugs. Now, a new study reveals legal marijuana may actually be saving lives. marijuana business lawyer

Published in the American Journal of Public Health, the research examined the link between the legalization of recreational use cannabis in Colorado and the number of opioid-related deaths. What study authors discovered was one of the only places in the nation so far to have experienced a reversal in the upward trend of opioid deaths. Following the opening of the first shops selling recreational use marijuana in 2014, Colorado’s opioid deaths dropped by 6 percent over the course of two years.

Researchers were careful to say these findings are preliminary, and examine the just two years of data in a single state. However, those results are promising, and echo the voices of support have been saying from the beginning: Marijuana – which has far fewer risks compared to opiates – can be used as a substitute for those who might otherwise turn to more powerful (and dangerous) prescription drugs.  Continue reading

State law in California now says that if you are over the age of 21, you have the right to grow up to six cannabis plans for your own personal use. The law also extends to cities and/ or counties the right to impose reasonable regulation on this homegrown marijuana provision. marijuana

These two rules were both part of Proposition 64, the state’s new legalized marijuana law. However, they conflict with each other and have become something of a battleground in some cities. In the three months since the law took effect, a number of cities home implemented rules for residential growing of the plant. But these rules are testing the boundaries of what may be deemed “reasonable” in terms of regulations.

Cities are citing concerns about safety in their provisions that prohibit marijuana gardens outdoors. Others require costly permits if people want to grow the plant. There are even a few cities that have outright banned the practice.  Continue reading

Weddings are often about tradition. There is the dress and the vows and the dance and the tossing of the bouquet. But it appears a growing number of betrothed couples in states where recreational marijuana is now legal are forging a new tradition: Weed at the wedding. boquet

There are a lot of different ways couples are incorporating this.

For some, as Fox News noted, it involves “the first toke,” using a “unit bowl” that represents the blending of their two budding lives together – similar to what we see with the older traditions of the “unity candle’ or the “sand ceremony.” In other cases, as CNBC reports, there is at least one florist in Denver who at her “Buds & Blossoms” shop specializes solely on marijuana-infused weddings. She affixes floral wedding bouquets and centerpieces with buds of cannabis tucked among the hydrangeas and roses. And there are other couples who are inviting their guests to imbibe with “cannabis bars.” One company that caters to newlyweds in Seattle and Portland specializes in setting up outdoor cannabis bars (as many venues shy away from having the substance smoked or on display inside).  Continue reading

There has been a lot of uncertainty for some Americans in recent weeks as President Donald Trump has taken office, and that has extended to the question of how the federal government will proceed with regard to legal marijuana. Especially troubling was the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to the post of U.S. Attorney General over the Justice Department. Sessions in the past has been outspoken in his opposition to legalized marijuana, questioning the character of those who use the drug for any purpose. american

However, there is some evidence Sessions may be softening somewhat on his position, and there could be new reason to be hopeful about the Trump-era as far as legal cannabis is concerned. In a recent confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, Sessions, although shying away from a definitive plan for how to treat states’ legalization of the drug, did concede during questioning that to disrupt the legal marijuana markets by enforcing federal cannabis laws could result in an unnecessary strain on federal resources.

Beyond this revelation came the recommendation of Jim O’Neill for the appointment to lead the U.S. Food & Drug Enforcement Administration (FDA). According to Bloomberg News, O’Neill is managing director at Mithril Capital Management and a Silicon Valley investor. He previously served as the principal associated deputy secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services. Although he doesn’t have a medical background (and the head of the FDA has been for the lats 50 years either a medical doctor or prominent scientific researcher), he is believed to be a supporter of medical marijuana. He has strong ties with billionaire Peter Thiel, a Trump transition team member who co-founded the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform.  Continue reading

Medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996. One would think the social stigma, not to mention the legal entanglements, endured by medical marijuana patients by now would have lifted. But as a heartbreaking story out of Orange County reveals, this still isn’t so. father

The story, chronicled in The Orange County Register, details the ordeal of a new father fighting for custody of his infant son, currently in foster care, because the courts refused to grant him custody due to his status as a medical marijuana patient.

The 31-year-old reportedly did not find out about his son until the day a woman he’d dated nine moths earlier contacted him from a hospital bed to tell him she was giving birth. He drove to the hospital the following day and met his son. A social worker told him the baby’s mother would not be allowed to leave with the child. He immediately started to petition for custody of the boy. In order to do so, however, he had to take a drug test. Prior to undergoing the test, he revealed to the social worker that he used marijuana with a doctor’s prescription to treat for pain he suffered due to a car accident years earlier. The test results were inconclusive. However, his admission of his status as a medical marijuana patient was enough, the court held, to deny his request to bring his son home with him. Continue reading

California voters in November approved Prop. 64, which effectively legalized marijuana for recreational users and also issued some guidelines for how cultivation and sales should be regulated. But there are a lot of questions floating around in the interim. marijuana buds

Some of the questions being raised include:

  • Where can I buy recreational marijuana?
  • Where can I smoke it?
  • Are there going to be tougher penalties for driving while stoned, especially now that it’s become more common?
  • Can those serving jail or prison time for marijuana-related crimes seek commutation?

Marijuana businesses, cultivation farms, dispensaries, landlords, doctors and collectives would do well to consult with an experienced marijuana lawyer when formulating a business plan. Those who are facing criminal penalties should do the same, as well as those who are serving time and weighing the possibility of an appeal or request to have their sentences commuted.  Continue reading

Increasingly, marijuana research is proving to us the many ways in which this drug can be a benefit to those struggling with various medical ailments. happy

As legal access to marijuana has expanded in recent years, with 28 states now allowing medicinal marijuana and more than a handful allowing recreational use, there are still questions (at least where the federal government is concerned) about whether the drug has legitimate medicinal benefits. Although study of the drug has been impeded by harsh marijuana laws, it’s this same lack of research that has been cited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its hesitancy to recommend marijuana be rescheduled from a Schedule I narcotic (meaning it has no recognized medical purpose).

Marijuana is prescribed for a variety of physical illnesses and conditions, from cancer to arthritis. It contains more than 100 compounds, which are known as cannabinoids, that we know have some type of effect on the human biological system. In addition to physical troubles, marijuana has also been recommended by some doctors for help in easing certain mental conditions – namely, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Now, a new study, published in the journal Clinical Psychology Review, suggests additional evidence exists that marijuana can help people dealing with mental illness.  Continue reading

All Matthew Harvey wanted to do was take his 3-year-old daughter on a special trip to Disneyland in California. However, the Canadian man’s hopes have been dashed after he was reportedly banned from the U.S. for life. According to Canadian media outlet CBC, the ban had nothing to do with a prior criminal record. He hadn’t been trying to smuggle drugs – or anything else – into the country. Instead, he honestly answered a question posed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service: Have you ever used marijuana? canada

He’s a legal medical marijuana patient in Canada. In 2014, he was driving from Vancouver to Seattle, WA, where marijuana is legal both for recreational and medicinal purposes. He had been stopped and questioned by federal border patrol agents for six hours after they spotted a marijuana magazine in his car. During his detention, he was repeatedly questioned about his marijuana use. He did not think to lie, considering Washington state’s policy on the drug and the fact that he legally uses the drug in his home country. He conceded that for a time before he became a legal medical marijuana patient, he’d smoked the drug on occasion recreationally – before Canada had a legal marijuana program. This apparently was enough to trigger the ban.

And of course, while Washington state allows visitors and residents alike to purchase, possess and privately use the drug (with some restrictions), marijuana is still illegal under federal law. And federal law is what governs the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. Although he wasn’t carrying any marijuana with him when he tried to cross the border, he can still be denied access because, U.S. law states that any foreign national who admits to violating his or her country’s own controlled substance laws at some point previously can be deemed ineligible for admission into the U.S.  Continue reading

A resident physician at Stanford Hospital, Dr. Nathaniel Morris specializes in mental health. In a recent editorial in Scientific American about the difference between the way health care providers view marijuana and the way the federal government regulates it, Morris expresses disbelief at the decision by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to keep marijuana classified as a Schedule I narcotic. doctor7

A Schedule I drug is one that is considered so dangerous, it has no medically-accepted purpose. It’s in the same category as bath salts and heroin. Says Morris, “I can’t make much sense of this.”

Daily, he speaks with his mental health patients about substance abuse. In his training and experience, he has learned there are some abuses that are extremely concerning, and others much less so. The very first substance he inquires about in evaluations? Alcohol. It’s effects are seen daily by emergency room doctors after drinkers crash their cars, fall into an alcohol-induced coma or inhale their own vomit. Alcohol leads to some 1.2 million emergency room visits annually, and excess alcohol consumption accounts for nearly 90,000 deaths in the U.S., according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It causes significant problems for fetuses when their mothers drink. Then there is cocaine, also a concern for pregnant women, and also the source of heart attacks and kidney failure. Methamphetamine causes rapid heart palpitations, violent agitation and hyperthermia. Opioids – including heroin and morphine – often kill patients with sudden respiratory failure. The effects are worse when the drug is used intravenously.

But marijuana? Morris says it’s an “afterthought.”  Continue reading

California voters are going to be asked in November to decide whether they support the legalization of marijuana for recreational – not just medicinal – purposes. Polls indicate public support for this is at an all-time high of 60 percent, so the measure has a good shot of winning. But opponents haven’t given up just yet, and they’ve seized on something they hope will sway voters who might otherwise be on-the-fence. Problem is, it’s not actually true. television

The argument: That if you vote for legalization of recreational marijuana, the television and radio airwaves are going to be flooded with marijuana advertising.

For 45 years, there has been a ban on the advertisement of tobacco and smoke-related products. Now, some lawmakers are arguing that Prop. 64, the marijuana legislation, is going to undo all that. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.) argued that if California voters approve Prop. 64, they’ll be opening the door to marijuana smoking advertisements during prime time, when millions of teens and children will be tuning in.  Continue reading