Articles Tagged with marijuana lawyer

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

Over the course of the last year, a number of states have acquiesced to allow medical marijuana to be distributed for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. army

For example:

  • The U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate voted on separate occasions to allow the Veterans Affairs office doctors to talk about medicinal marijuana with their patients as an alternative form of treatment if they suffer from PTSD.
  • In Ohio, PTSD was listed as one of the 20 conditions that qualified under the state’s medical marijuana law signed by the governor.
  • In Illinois (Cook County, to be specific), a judge ordered that the state’s department of health add PTSD as a condition that qualifies for medical marijuana.
  • In New Jersey, the state assembly passed a bill that qualified PTSD as a condition for which sufferers could obtain medical marijuana.
  • In Rhode Island, the governor signed a law listing PTSD as a condition that is debilitating for purposes of medical cannabis treatment.

In addition to all this, the results of the November election mean that 21 states plus Washington D.C. and Guam gave the green light for marijuana to be used to treat PTSD. However, not all states are on the same page about this.  Continue reading

U.S. Air Force policy has historically been extremely strict with its entry criteria. This is the agency that refused entry to those who suffered from eczema, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder *(ADHD) and prior marijuana use. airforce

Now, a number of those rules are being relaxed – including the one regarding previous use of cannabis. This coincides with the fact that a growing number of states allow marijuana as medicine and for adult recreation.

Of course, the Air Force will continue to maintain a zero tolerance policy with regard to service members using or smoking cannabis. However, the number of days/ weeks/ months since the marijuana use prior to service is no longer going to be a limiting factor. Additionally, the service is no longer going to ask potential recruits how long it has been since their last time using marijuana in the standardized questioning forms.  Continue reading

It’s being called the “green rush.” Amid a series of pro-marijuana reforms set in motion by the November election, investors are scrambling to buy up stock in a variety of cannabis companies, which are part of an industry expected to cross the $25 billion threshold by 2021. brief case

Of course, not everyone is going to win out big in this, but there will be firms who succeed. Those that do will not take for granted sound legal advice needed to navigate an uncertain statutory landscape. Yes, there are state laws that now allow for both medicinal and recreational pot, but there are tight regulatory frameworks within those. Beyond that, while the federal Justice Department backed off its crackdown on marijuana dispensaries as of 2013, the drug remains a Schedule I narcotic, and the new U.S. attorney general is no fan of marijuana reform.

Still, investors see opportunity, particularly when they may not personally be directly involved in the actual cultivation, processing and distribution of the drug. Landlords and property owners may still be at risk, but they also stand to make substantial profits.  Continue reading

Medical marijuana dispensaries have been a common sight in L.A. for years – more than two decades, to be exact. So it’s tough to remember that in many parts of the country, these facilities are still having to wade gingerly into their new markets, even as the public has shown overwhelming support for them at the polls.bud

One example is Florida.

Recently, media in The Sunshine State have been exploring the way in which marijuana businesses are carefully entering the market after the approval of Amendment 2, which took effect this month. As reported by one outlet, one 2,000-square-foot storefront in Tampa does not, the reporter noted, “evoke images of the seedy bong-filled pot shops of popular imagination.” Again, we have to remember that it’s still “imagination” to those who haven’t lived in or traveled to a state where this substance has been widely available for years. The writer describes a clean, spacious dispensary with a brightly-lit showroom and materials to help educate buyers on the drug’s merits. One customer, there to purchase products for her son with epilepsy, comments to the writer that in truth, she “didn’t know what to expect,” but was pleasantly surprised.  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

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

One of the primary concerns of opponents to marijuana legalization was that it was going to fall into the hands of teenagers, whose brains are still developing and lack the full capacity for risk assessment. teen

Now, a new study analyzes a host of risky teen behavior, including marijuana consumption. Among the findings of the Monitoring the Future survey, conducted by the University of Michigan, younger teens are reporting that marijuana is more scarcely available to them now than it was nearly 25 years ago.

At this point, explanations for this trend are theoretical. What we do know, however, is that legalization of marijuana leads to greater regulation. It undercuts the black market, where there are no rules about who can buy marijuana or how much. With those black market outlets shrinking, it puts most of the supply in the hands of regulated dispensaries, which are overseen by the state. The state has very strict rules about who can purchase the drug, how much they can buy – and how old those buyers have to be.  Continue reading

A woman in Idaho has lost custody of her children as she faces criminal charges for treating her 3-year-old daughter with a marijuana-infused smoothie to treat her sudden onslaught of seizures. child hand

The 23-year-old woman explained later that the marijuana treatment was her last course of action. She has entered a not guilty plea to the misdemeanor charge of causing injury to a minor, who was already taking medicine to treat her bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Starting in October, the girl started to suffer from acute and repeated seizures. At the time, the girl was going through withdrawals from Risperdal, an antipsychotic medication, and her systems were growing increasingly worse. Her mother made her a smoothie with marijuana to help ease her symptoms and help her calm down – and it worked. According to the Times-News, the girls seizures dissipated within just a half hour.

This might have been the end of it, but later that day, the girl had a doctor’s appointment. A blood test indicated she had marijuana in her system. Doctors are mandated reporters and the positive drug test was reported to the state health and social services department. The mother was arrested and charged with the misdemeanor and the state agency removed custody of her children, who are now with her former husband. She now has only supervised visitation rights. Continue reading