Category: Courts

It’s Time to Enact Appropriate Job Protections for Those Who Legally Use Pot

Many observers were shocked and saddened when Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic who is authorized to use medical marijuana under Colorado state law, was fired from his job with Dish Network in 2010 after a positive drug test. Dish failed to make an exception for Coats, who used marijuana while off duty to control his seizures, and the company insisted on his being fired, leaving Coats no choice but to challenge this issue in court. Specifically, Coats claimed that his conduct should have been permitted under the state’s Lawful Off-Duty Activities […]

US Surgeon General Acknowledges “Marijuana Can Be Helpful”

Newly appointed US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy believes that cannabis possesses therapeutic utility — an acknowledgment that contradicts the plant’s present placement as a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law. Speaking to CBS News, Murthy said: “We have some preliminary data showing that for certain medical conditions and symptoms that marijuana can be helpful.” He added, “I think we have to use that data to drive policy making and I’m very interested to see where that data takes us.”

A “Hail Mary” Pass by our Political Opponents

For those of us in the business of changing public policy, sometimes we judge our progress on what we have accomplished; and other times we judge our effectiveness by the desperate acts of our opponents. The federal law suit filed late last week by the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma, seeking a declaratory judgment from the U.S. Supreme Court holding Colorado’s legalization provisions to be unconstitutional, clearly falls in the latter category. This suit is more political theater than a serious legal challenge. These two conservative state attorneys general know […]

New York City Officials Announce Plan To Halt Minor Marijuana Arrests

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton publicly announced plans yesterday to halt the NYPD’s practice of arresting tens of thousands of minor marijuana offenders annually. Under the new plan, set to take effect November 19, city police would issue first-time marijuana offenders a summons, payable by a fine, in lieu of making a criminal arrest.

2013 FBI Uniform Crime Report: Marijuana Arrests Down, Still Cost Over 457 Million Annually

The FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report was released this morning and provides an updated look at the total number of marijuana arrests law enforcement made across the country in 2013. The good news is that numbers are down slightly from 2012’s arrest figures. In 2012, there were about 749,825 marijuana arrests (compared to 757,969 in 2011). The new report shows a modest decrease in arrests. In 2013, there was a total of 693,481 arrests made for marijuana charges, with the overwhelming majority of these being for simple possession. Law enforcement […]