Articles Tagged with marijuana legalization

Last month, supporters of marijuana legalization got a welcome surprise when conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas questioned the constitutionality of federal prohibitions on marijuana. That line of questioning didn’t alter federal law, but it does seem to inch us closer to a reality where cannabis could be legalized, regulated and accepted the same way alcohol has. Hope has been especially high since the election of President Joe Biden. Still, the actual odds aren’t at all clear-cut. Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer

As of the beginning of this month, recreational marijuana was legal in 18 states, while medical marijuana was legal in 36. Since March of this year, five more states have enacted or introduced legislation that would legalize production, sales and use of the plant. Further, more than 9 in 10 Americans queried by the Pew Research Center believe cannabis should be legal at least for medicinal use.

Despite all this, though, marijuana continues to be classified as a Schedule I narcotic under federal law. As our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers can explain, that’s the same category used for drugs like heroin – highly addictive and with no medicinal purpose. Obviously, the label isn’t congruent with the reality, and there is a clear disconnect between federal and state laws that has proven a fine line for cannabis companies to walk. Continue reading

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a federal bill that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. It’s a sweeping measure that expressly strives to address racial inequality of drug law enforcement, though the impact could be much broader – that is, if it had a realistic shot at passing in the Senate. Our Los Angeles marijuana lawyers and most Washington insiders agree the bill is likely to falter in the Senate. Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (or MORE Act) would remove cannabis from the list of U.S. controlled substances. It would also expunge lower-level federal marijuana arrests and convictions and provide incentives for minority-owned cannabis businesses in a market that has been expanding rapidly in recent years – not just in California, but throughout the country. Additionally, it would establish an excise tax on marijuana sales, allowing that money to be funneled into areas that were particularly hard-hit by the failed war on drugs.

The measure was largely approved along party lines, though five Republican representatives and one independent joined Democrats in passing the bill. Half a dozen Democrats voted against it. NPR quoted the bill’s sponsor as saying federal action on the issue is an imperative, given that the majority of states plus Washington, D.C. have recognized medical cannabis as legal and 15 allow its sale and possession for adult recreational use. Those who voted in favor of the bill say it is long overdue, particularly as so many of the arrest and sentencing laws have placed an unfair burden on minority and low-income communities. Research conducted by the ACLU has established that people of color are four times more likely to be arrested for possession of marijuana than their White counterparts, despite evidence these groups use the substance in equal measure. Federal estimates are that some 22 million Americans regularly use marijuana. Continue reading

There’s no finer example of the ongoing struggle between politicians and the people over the issue of marijuana legalization than the current events marijuana legalizationtaking place in Nebraska. Despite efforts on two different fronts to get medical marijuana on the 2018 ballot, all efforts have been halted, at least for the time being.

A recent survey of Nebraska residents showed that 77 percent of respondents would vote yes on a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana in the state, according to an Omaha World-Herald report. The survey was conducted as part of research one state senator was conducting to support a resolution to make way for voters to decide on medical marijuana legalization. The resolution was dropped, though, when the senator determined she did not have enough support from her fellow legislators, despite the overwhelming support from voters.

Meanwhile the Marijuana Policy Project (which offered support for Proposition 64 when it was on the ballot in California) has been trying to organize a petition drive to get an initiative on the ballot as well. However, the group determined there was not enough time to rally for 2018 and are instead focusing their efforts on a big 2020 push. Continue reading

In the David versus Goliath of weed, five plaintiffs are taking on the federal government’s archaic stance on cannabis, claiming they have “suffered medical marijuanaharm, and … are continually threatened with additional harm” as a result of marijuana’s Schedule I classification under Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812.

Arguments recently began in U.S. District Court Southern District of New York for the lawsuit filed against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Department of Justice, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and its director Chuck Rosenberg, and, to top it off, the United States of America.

Plaintiffs include a military veteran who uses cannabis for post-traumatic stress disorder, a former pro football player with a business that sells hemp-based products, representatives for two young children, each of whom suffer from severe medical issues, and Cannabis Cultural Association, a non-profit organization meant to help minorities benefit from the cannabis industry, according to an article from Associated Press. The lawsuit also outlines that, while not a class action, it would benefit tens of millions of Americans who depend on marijuana’s medical properties. Continue reading

With the rollout of Proposition 64 on Jan. 1, Californians are beginning to enjoy legal adult-use marijuana. Some cities, though, decided not to legalizemarijuana legalization recreational cannabis, either because residents or leaders voiced opposition or because they wanted to wait to see how it played out in other areas of the state.

Chula Vista is one such city that did not join legalization efforts right away, but is considering a ballot measure this year. This would put the final decision in the hands of the residents of the city.

According to an NBC Los Angeles report, the city is working with a private research firm to survey residents for their feedback and thoughts on whether to legalize and how best to regulate the industry. Continue reading

Fledgling marijuana businesses in California face significant challenges following the Jan. 1 passage of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act marijuana legalization attorneys(known as Proposition 64) . That measure made recreational cannabis legal in the state, but subject to a laundry list of stringent regulations businesses must abide. In addition, many local governments have set their own rules, and this is all heaped on to existing barriers under the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812.

Good marijuana business attorneys recognize that even once a client clears all those hurdles, small operations often have an even bigger mountain to climb: Competition from cannabis mega-corporations. This has spurred a number of marijuana lawsuits against the state for failure to keep these bigger firms in check with sufficient regulation.

Specifically, some farmers are taking aim at the fact the law does not fully restrict acreage permitted per grower for marijuana.

In one example, California Growers Association, a nonprofit, mutual benefit corporation, has filed a lawsuit in Sacramento County Superior Court against the state’s agriculture department, challenging the lack of such a stipulation. Continue reading

While Attorney General Jeff Sessions is doing all he can to hold states to federal law regarding marijuana, some representatives are pushing to Los Angeles marijuana legalizationeliminate federal grasp over cannabis altogether and begin the healing process of the destruction caused by the war on drugs.

The Marijuana Justice Act of 2017 was originally introduced in the Senate by Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) in August, where it stalled. Two representatives from California — Barbara Lee (D-CA 13th District) and Ro Khanna (D-CA 17th District) — are now trying to get a companion bill before the House of Representatives. The objective of these bills is to remove marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic in the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812.

This move comes on the heels of Sessions rescinding a directive, known as the Cole Memo, issued in 2013 by the Department of Justice during the Obama administration, which indicated that federal prosecutors should not pursue charges in relation to illegal marijuana activity so long as those in question were abiding by state laws. Continue reading

It’s no news that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has strong feelings about the cannabis industry. Since his Marijuana Lawyersappointment almost a year ago, he has promised to uphold federal cannabis law, which classifies marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic under Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. This path is in stark contrast with the narrative in the rest of the country: 30 states as well as Washington, D.C., have some form of marijuana legalization on the books. Eight of those states (including California) and the District of Columbia allow recreational marijuana sales and use, with more planning ballot initiatives and legislative votes in 2018.

Up until now, those states have been able to manage their marijuana laws as they saw fit without meddling from the federal government thanks to a directive put in place at the Department of Justice during Barack Obama’s presidency that discouraged enforcement.

However, Sessions recently rescinded that directive, opening the door for prosecutors to go after states that have established legal cannabis.  Continue reading

Florida lawmakers are preparing to implement Amendment 2, which is the state’s medical marijuana legalization law. For now, there are only seven companies licensed to cultivate and distribute marijuana in the state. They have been busy too – raising funds and spending millions of dollars to grow their new operations and shield what they have at stake in what promises to be a highly profitable industry.marijuana buds

They are pushing to expand access to the drug. How so? By hiring an estimated 60 lobbyists to represent their interests to state lawmakers in charge of writing the detailed provisions of the broader marijuana law, approved by state voters in November at the same time California voters approved recreational marijuana.

Patients and doctors too are pressing state officials to expand access, as well as improve the affordability of the drug and increase the diversity of available strains.  Continue reading

University students in Iowa recently prevailed in a federal free speech lawsuit that affirms students’ rights, no matter what their political persuasion. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that two school administrators employed by Iowa State University violated the rights of two students who served as top administrators of the school’s local chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws). university

The two students had plans in the works to print off a series of t-shirts that showed a marijuana leaf alongside the school’s mascot. School officials claimed that the production of such material would be a violation of the university’s trademark policy.

Students sued the school in federal court, arguing that the policy on the mascot trademark was a violation of students’ free speech rights. Last year, the judge issued a ruling agreeing with the students and prohibiting the school from stopping the students from making the shirts. The judge ruled that the school’s rejection of the t-shirts with NORML’s designs were discrimination because the decision was based on the fact that administrators disagreed with the students’ political point-of-view. Continue reading

Contact Information