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Arizona Appellate Court Strikes Medical Marijuana Campus Ban

PHOENIX, AZ — An Arizona appellate court has ruled that a 2012 law amending the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) to prohibit the use of medical cannabis on college campuses is unconstitutional.

“By enacting A.R.S. § 15-108(A), the Legislature modified the AMMA to re-criminalize cardholders’ marijuana possession on college and university campuses,” the Court opined. “The statute does not further the purposes of the AMMA; to the contrary, it eliminates some of its…

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Arizona Appellate Court Strikes Down Law Banning Medical Marijuana on Campus

PHOENIX, AZ — An Arizona appellate court has ruled that a 2012 state law prohibiting the use of medical cannabis on college campuses is unconstitutional.

Arizona voters in 2010 narrowly approved a statewide initiative, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA), permitting qualified patients to possess and use medicinal cannabis. The Court determined that the legislature’s decision to later amend the law in order to restrict medical marijuana use on college…

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Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Proponents Victorious in Ballot Fight

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — The state Supreme Court of Oklahoma has ruled in favor of the proponents of a forthcoming statewide ballot measure to regulate medical cannabis access.

In a 7 to 1 ruling, justices rejected the state attorney general’s rewording of the initiative’s ballot title and ordered that the measure’s initial language be restored.

Initiative proponents, Oklahomans for Health, had argued that the revised title was purposely misleading because it did not…

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Montana Court: Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Can Immediately Begin Serving Patients

HELENA, MT — Voter-initiated changes in law governing the operation of medical cannabis providers may take effect ahead of the measure’s June 30, 2017 implementation date, according to a court ruling.

Fifty-six percent of Montana voters approved I-182 on Election Day, which expands patients’ access to medical cannabis. However, a drafting error in the measure delays implementation of the new law until the end of June.

Last week, a Helena District Court Judge…

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NORML Sues Over Missing Ballot Item in Florida

legal marijuana law gavel scale

The Florida’s chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has filed a civil lawsuit against the Broward County Commissioner of Elections, after media and news reports revealed that mail in ballots have been sent to voters omitting the state’s medical marijuana constitutional amendment.

The claim was just filed by NORML’s national vice chairman, Fort Lauderdale attorney Norm Kent, and his law partner, Russell Cormican, on behalf of…

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Missouri Judge Disqualifies Proposed 2016 Medical Marijuana Ballot Measure

Missouri Judge Disqualifies Proposed 2016 Medical Marijuana Ballot Measure

SPRINGFIELD, MO — Voters will not have the opportunity this November to decide on a proposed statewide proposition to permit the physician-supervised use of marijuana.

A Cole County Circuit Judge has upheld a decision by St. Louis election officials to disqualify thousands of petition signatures because voters had mistakenly signed forms indicating that they resided in a county other than where they lived.

The measure, sponsored by New Approach Missouri, sought to authorize qualified patients to possess, cultivate, and/or obtain cannabis…

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Court: Budgetary Amendment Bars Federal Prosecution of State-Compliant Medical Marijuana Providers

Court: Budgetary Amendment Bars Federal Prosecution of State-Compliant Medical Marijuana Providers

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Federal officials are not permitted to engage in the criminal prosecution of those who are engaged in activity related to medical marijuana absent evidence that the defendants are in clear violation of state law, according to a unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The ruling broadly interprets a 2014 federal budgetary amendment prohibiting the US Justice Department from spending any funds “to prevent … states … from implementing their own state laws that authorize the…

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License Plate from a Marijuana State? That’s No Reason to Stop and Search, Fed Court Says

License Plate from a Marijuana State? That’s No Reason to Stop and Search, Fed Court Says

DENVER, CO — Drivers from pot-friendly West Coast states have long complained of “license plate profiling,” claiming state troopers more interested in drug interdiction than traffic safety perch like vultures along the nation’s east-west interstate highways pull them over on pretextual traffic stops—going 71 in a 70 mph zone, failing to wait two full seconds after signaling before making a lane change, weaving within a lane—because their plates make them suspected marijuana traffickers.

Since Colorado blossomed as a medical…

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Federal Court of Appeals Upholds Ban on Prosecuting State-Compliant Medical Marijuana Businesses

Federal Court of Appeals Upholds Ban on Prosecuting State-Compliant Medical Marijuana Businesses

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, covering nine western states, earlier this week ruled unanimously that the Department of Justice is barred by federal law from prosecuting medical marijuana businesses if those businesses are operating in compliance with state law.

This decision came in an appeal in which the court had consolidated ten different cases from California and Washington, in which the defendants — growers and dispensaries — had argued that their federal indictments should…

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Supreme Court Opens Door for More Lawless Police Searches

Supreme Court Opens Door for More Lawless Police Searches

WASHINGTON, DC — In a pair of decisions released Monday, the US Supreme Court again demonstrated its deference to law enforcement priorities, in one case by expanding an exception to the long-standing ruling requiring that unlawfully gathered evidence be discarded and in another by holding that drug dealers, even those engaged only in street-corner sales, are engaged in interstate commerce.

The two decisions expand the ability of local police to skirt the law without effective punishment on the one hand, and allow prosecutors to use the…

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Feds Give Up on Effort to Seize Nation’s Largest Medical Marijuana Dispensary

OAKLAND, CA — In a stunning victory for California’s marijuana industry, federal prosecutors have agreed to end their years-long effort to close and seize Oakland’s Harborside Health Center, the nation’s largest dispensary with more than 100,000 patients.

Harborside broke the news with a press release Tuesday, followed up by a press conference attended by Oakland officials who have stood by the dispensary since then-US Attorney Melinda Haag went after in 2012.

The effort to shut down Harborside was part of a broader offensive against…

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Victory! Feds Drop Another Medical Marijuana Lawsuit

Victory! Feds Drop Another Medical Marijuana Lawsuit

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has dropped its civil forfeiture action against Harborside Health Center in Oakland, CA.

The case was brought by the DOJ back in 2011 as part of a federal crackdown against legal state medical cannabis dispensaries. The dropping of the case was at least in part the result of a Congressional amendment which prevents the DOJ from interfering with those abiding by their state medical cannabis law.

This marks the second time in recent weeks that the feds have dropped a case as a result of the Congressional…

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Feds Drop Lawsuit Against Harborside Health Center

Feds Drop Lawsuit Against Harborside Health Center

A five year old asset forfeiture lawsuit against Oakland’s Harborside Health Center, the country’s largest medical marijuana dispensary, has finally been dropped by federal prosecutors, city and state officials announced Tuesday.

Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan made the announcement in a press release Tuesday, which was quickly followed by a statement from Harborside and from California Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) praising the decision.

“As of today, Harborside Health Center is in the clear and will no longer have…

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Maine Court Rules in Favor of Marijuana Legalization Supporters; Orders Secretary of State to Review Invalidated Signatures

Maine Court Rules in Favor of Marijuana Legalization Supporters; Orders Secretary of State to Review Invalidated Signatures

A Kennebec County Superior Court judge found that state officials erred when they disqualified thousands of petitions — including more than 17,000 signatures from Maine voters that were validated by town clerks — without actually reviewing them

AUGUSTA, ME — A Kennebec County Superior Court judge ruled on Friday that state officials may have improperly invalidated thousands of signatures of registered Maine voters and unlawfully denied citizens their constitutional right to vote on a proposed ballot initiative to regulate marijuana…

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Our Recent Supreme Court Victory and What It Means

Our Recent Supreme Court Victory and What It Means

The recent decision by the US Supreme Court to refuse to hear a challenge to the Colorado marijuana legalization law was a significant victory for those who favor legalizing marijuana and a significant set-back for those who thought the federal courts might help them hold on to the increasingly unpopular policy of criminal prohibition. The name of the case was States of Nebraska and Oklahoma v. State of Colorado.

Original Jurisdiction

First, here’s a brief lesson in Supreme Court jurisprudence. Nearly all cases that make it to the US…

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Marijuana Lawsuit Against Colorado Rejected by SCOTUS

Marijuana Lawsuit Against Colorado Rejected by SCOTUS

In 2012, Colorado voted to legalize marijuana production, sales, and consumption for adults, but two neighboring states claimed the law is causing marijuana to spill into their states, creating a law enforcement burden, and that the law is a violation of the Controlled Substances Act.

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request to hear a lawsuit Nebraska and Oklahoma brought against Colorado’s marijuana legalization law, a rare case falling under the Court’s original jurisdiction to hear lawsuits between states.

In…

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Montana Supreme Court Upholds Legislative Changes to Medical Marijuana Law

Montana Supreme Court Upholds Legislative Changes to Medical Marijuana Law

Lawmakers passed legislation in 2011 to roll back the state’s medical marijuana program, which voters initially approved in 2004. Those changes have been subject to legal challenges ever since.

HELENA, MT — The Supreme Court of Montana has upheld a number of legislative amendments to the state’s voter-approved medical cannabis law.

Lawmakers passed legislation in 2011 to roll back the program, which voters initially approved in 2004. Those changes have been subject to legal challenges ever since.

Specifically, the Court upheld…

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Court Shuts Down L.A. Marijuana Delivery App ‘Nestdrop’

Court Shuts Down L.A. Marijuana Delivery App ‘Nestdrop’

California Court Ruling Could Halt Medical Marijuana Deliveries in LA

LOS ANGELES, CA — App developers behind a medical marijuana delivery service for Los Angeles cannot overturn an injunction, an appeals court ruled Monday.

When Joseph Pycher and Roddy Radnia started Nestdrop LLC in 2013, their mobile app of the same name was focused on arranging deliveries of alcohol within one hour customers placing an order.

They branched out and partnered with Los Angeles medical-marijuana dispensaries in late 2014, providing users with menus of local…

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Canadian Court Rules Government Can’t Prohibit Patients’ Rights to Grow Cannabis

Canadian Court Rules Government Can’t Prohibit Patients’ Rights to Grow Cannabis

A federal court in Canada ruled Wednesday that government officials cannot prohibit physician-authorized patients from growing their own supply of medical cannabis.

The decision strikes down regulations enacted in 2013 that sought to take away patients’ longstanding authority to grow personal use quantities of cannabis.

The court opined that the regulations unduly infringed upon patients’ liberties and that they were “not in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.”

The judge’s ruling provides Parliament with six…

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Legalizing Marijuana and Your 4th Amendment Protections

Legalizing Marijuana and Your 4th Amendment Protections

The nationwide movement to legalize the responsible use of marijuana is a badly needed change in public policy, because it will eventually eliminate all but a few of the 700,000 marijuana arrests that occur each year in this country (there will always be a few who insist on operating outside the limits set by legalization). That fact alone would justify ending prohibition. We are needlessly criminalizing millions of otherwise law-abiding marijuana smokers.

The Fourth Amendment Protections

But the struggle to legalize marijuana is also part of…

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Navy Veteran Has Children Taken Away Due to Medical Marijuana Use

Navy Veteran Has Children Taken Away Due to Medical Marijuana Use

“People who don’t understand the medical value of cannabis are tearing my family apart,” says Raymond Schwab

Veteran’s Children Held Hostage By the State

Schwab is a US Navy veteran from Kansas who just had 5 of his 6 children taken away from CPS (Child Protective Services) because of his medical marijuana recommendation in Colorado; where cannabis is legal.

Less than a year ago, Raymond Schwab and his wife were in the middle of moving to Colorado to grow medical marijuana for fellow veterans. While they were in Colorado preparing for…

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Kansas Supreme Court Tosses Wichita Marijuana Law

Kansas Supreme Court Tosses Wichita Marijuana Law

WICHITA, KS — The Kansas Supreme Court struck down a city ordinance decriminalizing some marijuana offenses after concluding supporters botched the ballot paperwork that led to its adoption.

The Jan. 22 ruling invalidates a referendum in which 54 percent of the voters endorsed loosening restriction on marijuana use.

In an opinion penned by Chief Justice Lawton Nuss, the court found that because filings by bill supporters lacked “verbatim” wording of the then-potential law, the court can’t be sure that citizens and lawmakers knew…

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New Mexico Medical Marijuana Patient Sues Over Lack of Delivery

New Mexico Medical Marijuana Patient Sues Over Lack of Delivery

SANTA FE, NM – A medical marijuana patient sued the New Mexico Department of Health this week for refusing to deliver medical cannabis to patients.

Raymundo Marrufo lives in Deming, but has to drive 60 miles to Las Cruces to pick up his medical marijuana, which has been allowed in New Mexico since 2007.

Marrufo also sued the Border Patrol in Federal Court on Nov. 20 last year, claiming it violates the Rohrabacher Amendment, a federal law that precludes any federal agency from using federal funds to enforce any laws that interfere with…

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SCOTUS Should Dismiss States’ Challenge to Colorado Marijuana Legalization, Solicitor General Says

SCOTUS Should Dismiss States’ Challenge to Colorado Marijuana Legalization, Solicitor General Says

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Solicitor General, Donald Verrilli Jr., issued a statement Wednesday advising the Supreme Court not to hear a lawsuit Nebraska and Oklahoma filed against Colorado’s marijuana legalization law last December.

Oklahoma and Nebraska attorneys general filed the suit in hopes of re-criminalizing marijuana in Colorado, claiming it had created a burden on their own law enforcement agencies and because marijuana is still federally illegal.

The Solicitor General stated, “Entertaining the type of dispute here – essentially…

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Obama Administration Urges Supreme Court to Dismiss States’ Suit Against Colorado Pot Law

Obama Administration Urges Supreme Court to Dismiss States’ Suit Against Colorado Pot Law

In a brief filed Wednesday, the US Solicitor General urged the Supreme Court to dismiss a lawsuit by the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma against Colorado’s marijuana legalization law.

The two states had filed the lawsuit in December 2014, complaining that “the State of Colorado has created a dangerous gap in the federal drug control system” and that “marijuana flows from this gap into neighboring states, undermining Plaintiff States’ own marijuana bans, draining their treasuries, and placing stress on their criminal justice…

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Michigan Supreme Court Allows Grand Rapids Marijuana Decriminalization Law to Stand

Michigan Supreme Court Allows Grand Rapids Marijuana Decriminalization Law to Stand

LANSING, MI — An amendment to the Grand Rapids city charter that decriminalizes marijuana possession in the city will be allowed to stand after the state’s highest court refused to hear an appeal from Kent County Prosecutor William Forsyth.

The amendment, approved by voters in 2012, makes the possession of marijuana a civil infraction punishable by fines ranging from $25 to $100 with no jail time.  The amendment, which was approved by nearly 60% of voters, also makes  marijuana cases a low police priority, and forbids city law…

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Canadian Judge Fines Man $1.30 for 30 Marijuana Plants

Canadian Judge Fines Man $1.30 for 30 Marijuana Plants

Québec Judge Protests Canadian Cannabis Law

In a ruling that both protests the severely broken war on marijuana and reflects Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s position on weed, a judge in Québec fined a man $1.30 for 30 cannabis plants.

Judge Pierre Chevalier delivered the symbolic ruling to Mario Larouche, who was arrested for possession of 30 marijuana plants.

“We are in a society where people are accused of possession and use of marijuana while more than half the population has already consumed. These are laws that are obsolete…

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Hearing Thursday for Terminal NH Cancer Patient Seeking Medical Marijuana Access

Hearing Thursday for Terminal NH Cancer Patient Seeking Medical Marijuana Access

Linda Horan of Alstead wants a New Hampshire medical marijuana ID card, which would allow her to obtain medical marijuana legally in Maine and protect her from arrest and prosecution in New Hampshire

CONCORD, NH — Merrimack County Superior Court will hold a hearing at 10 a.m. on Thursday on a lawsuit against New Hampshire Commissioner of Health and Human Services Nicholas Toumpas filed by a terminal cancer patient seeking access to medical marijuana.

Linda Horan of Alstead, who is suffering from Stage 4 lung cancer, filed a…

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South Dakota Law Can Get You Busted for Smoking Pot in Another State

South Dakota’s Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe announced over the weekend that it was suspending operations on its marijuana resort set to open on New Year’s Eve and that it had burned its pot crop. The tribe said it was seeking “clarification” from the Justice Department to ensure “the continued success of the marijuana venture.”

The move comes as at least three other Indian tribes that have embarked on marijuana operations after the Justice Department seemingly gave them a green light last year have been raided by the DEA, a…

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Entrapped Autistic Teen’s Lawsuit Against School Administrators Dismissed

Entrapped Autistic Teen’s Lawsuit Against School Administrators Dismissed

Jesse Snodgrass, who has autism, was befriended by an undercover police officer who repeatedly insisted that Jesse find marijuana for him. After being harassed for nearly three weeks by the officer, Jesse was able to buy half a joint from a homeless man to give to the officer. Shortly thereafter, Jesse was arrested in front of his classmates along with 21 additional students, many of whom have special needs.

TEMECULA, CA —  Last month, the lawsuit filed by the family of Jesse Snodgrass against Temecula Valley Unified School District…

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Terminal Cancer Patient Seeking Medical Marijuana Files Lawsuit Against New Hampshire Commissioner of Health and Human Services

Terminal Cancer Patient Seeking Medical Marijuana Files Lawsuit Against New Hampshire Commissioner of Health and Human Services

Suit filed Thursday by Linda Horan of Alstead asks DHHS to take swift action so that she can immediately begin accessing medical marijuana to mitigate ‘intolerably painful side effects’ of stage IV lung cancer — ‘She does not wish to spend her last months in a narcotic haze from prescribed opiates’

CONCORD, NH — A terminal cancer patient seeking expedited access to medical marijuana filed a lawsuit Thursday in Merrimack County Superior Court against New Hampshire Commissioner of Health and Human Services Nicholas Toumpas.

The…

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Mexico Supreme Court: Individuals Have the Right to Consume and Cultivate Marijuana

Mexico Supreme Court: Individuals Have the Right to Consume and Cultivate Marijuana

Landmark Case Could Pave the Way for Marijuana Legalization

MEXICO CITY — In a 4 to 1 vote, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the prohibition of the consumption and cultivation of marijuana for personal use is unconstitutional.

The Court determined that the prohibition of the consumption of marijuana – and its cultivation for non-commercial ends – violates the human right to the free development of one’s personality. This landmark case could lead to the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes if followed up…

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NH Cancer Patient Sues Over Lack of Medical Marijuana Card

Terminal Cancer Patient Seeking Medical Marijuana Files Lawsuit Against New Hampshire Commissioner of Health and Human Services

Suit filed Thursday by Linda Horan of Alstead asks DHHS to take swift action so that she can immediately begin accessing medical marijuana to mitigate ‘intolerably painful side effects’ of stage IV lung cancer — ‘She does not wish to spend her last months in a narcotic haze from prescribed opiates’

CONCORD, NH — A terminal cancer patient seeking expedited access to medical marijuana filed a lawsuit Thursday in Merrimack County Superior Court against New Hampshire Commissioner of Health and Human Services Nicholas Toumpas.

The…

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Mass. High Court Rules Police Can’t Stop Vehicles Based Solely on Suspicion of Marijuana

BOSTON, MA — Civil rights advocates and marijuana legalization supporters are welcoming a decision from the state Supreme Judicial Court that says police can’t stop motorists solely because they suspect the vehicle’s occupants are carrying marijuana. The decision came in Commonwealth v. Rodriguez.

The Rodriguez in question was Elivette Rodriguez, who was a passenger in a car stopped by New Bedford police in 2012 after they allegedly detected the smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle. During the stop, police found a bag containing 60 Percocet pills, and Rodriguez was charged with possession of a Class B substance with intent to distribute, as well as other offenses.

Before trial, Rodriguez filed a motion to suppress the evidence from the search, arguing that since the state had…

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Vets Sue Colorado for Right to Use Medical Marijuana for PTSD

Vets Sue Colorado for Right to Use Medical Marijuana for PTSD

DENVER, CO — Four war veterans and a victim of sexual assault sued Colorado for refusing to allow medical marijuana to be prescribed for post-traumatic stress disorder — an odd case for a state that allows marijuana to be used for fun.

The plaintiffs include an Army sniper who served two tours of duty in Iraq, an 11-year veteran who worked in an explosive ordnance disposal unit in Iraq, an infantryman in an elite unit who suffered traumatic brain injuries in two tours of “heavy combat” in Afghanistan, and a woman who was sexually molested when she was 5.

All of them “self-medicated” after their trauma, and were prescribed drugs for PTSD. One tried to kill himself. All of them say medical marijuana has relieved their symptoms more effectively and with fewer side effects than…

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Judge Rules City of Oakland Can’t Challenge Feds’ Forfeiture Action Against Harborside

Judge Rules City of Oakland Can’t Challenge Feds’ Forfeiture Action Against Harborside

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Oakland cannot challenge the government’s forfeiture action against a medical marijuana dispensary because its collateral attack would “impermissibly disrupt” forfeiture framework, the Ninth Circuit ruled Thursday.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office accused Harborside Health Center’s two dispensary locations in Oakland and San Jose of selling marijuana in violation of the Controlled Substances Act in July 2012. Although medical marijuana is legal in California, is still illegal under federal law.

In late 2012 the dispensary pleaded with its landlord to stop upending the business amid the forfeiture proceedings.

The City of Oakland challenged the government by – rather than filing a claim in the forfeiture action – doing an end-run and seeking a declaratory…

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Medical Marijuana is Legal in Las Vegas, but Nowhere to Buy It

Medical Marijuana is Legal in Las Vegas, but Nowhere to Buy It

LAS VEGAS, NV — Nevada defrauds patients by charging annual fees for medical marijuana identification cards, but refuses to license dispensaries in and around Las Vegas, a medical marijuana cardholder claims in a federal class action lawsuit.

John Doe sued the state, the governor and the Department of Health and Human Services, which has the power to issue licenses for marijuana dispensaries but has not done so in Clark County.

The 2 million residents of Clark County, home to Las Vegas and Henderson, account for more than two-thirds of the population of Nevada.

Doe claims that forcing Nevadans to get prescription cards but forcing them to buy the drug on the street constitutes fraud, unjust enrichment, unequal taxation and violation of equal protections.

Nevada amended its constitution…

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Arizona Appeals Court Rules Marijuana Smell Not Enough for Search Warrant

Arizona Appeals Court Rules Marijuana Smell Not Enough for Search Warrant

TUCSON, AZ — An Arizona court ruling says legalization of medical marijuana means the smell of pot cannot be the only basis for obtaining a search warrant to investigate suspected illegal activity.

“Medical marijuana use pursuant to AMMA is lawful under Arizona law,” said Judge Peter Eckerstrom in the court’s ruling. “Therefore its scent alone does not disclose whether a crime has occurred.”

“Were we to adopt the state’s suggestion that scent alone furnishes probable cause of a crime, medical marijuana patients would become second-class citizens, losing their rights to privacy and security, including privacy within their own homes,” said Eckerstrom.

Ruling that a judge in Tucson shouldn’t have allowed evidence from a search, the state Court of Appeals overturned a…

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New Mexico Court Rules in Favor of Worker in Medical Marijuana Case

New Mexico Court Rules in Favor of Worker in Medical Marijuana Case

SANTA FE, NM — The New Mexico Court of Appeals has ruled that a patient in the state’s medical marijuana program who was injured on the job must be reimbursed by an employer for the expense of marijuana used for treatment.

The recent decision marks the third time since May 2014 that the court has sided with a medical marijuana patient in a workers’ compensation claim.

In the most recent case, appellate Judge James Wechsler wrote that a workers’ compensation judge was correct in ruling that American General Media, which owns several radio stations in New Mexico, had to reimburse Sandra Lewis of Albuquerque.

The company and its third-party workers’ compensation administrator had appealed the 2013 decision by the workers’ compensation judge. Among the arguments, the company said…

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The Colorado’s Supreme Court Unfortunate Ruling On Employment Discrimination

The Colorado’s Supreme Court Unfortunate Ruling On Employment Discrimination

Earlier this week, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that employers in Colorado can fire employees for cannabis use even if they are medical cannabis patients. At the center of Monday’s ruling is Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic that used cannabis to control leg spasms while off duty from his job. Coats had argued that his usage was protected under Colorado state law, but the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that he could be fired because cannabis is illegal under federal law.

Here are some key takeaways to help you understand the ruling:

This Ruling is Very Narrow

Law professor Sam Kamin told the Denver Post that the ruling “really comes down to interpreting this one word in this one statute.” Because cannabis is not legal under federal law, the Court ruled that the Colorado law…

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Colorado Supreme Court Affirms Employers Rights to Fire Medical Marijuana Patients for Off-Duty Marijuana Use

The case involved Brandon Coats, a 34-year-old quadriplegic, who uses marijuana to help with spasms and seizures due to a debilitating car accident. Coats worked as a customer service representative for Dish Network for three years until he was randomly drug tested and subsequently fired for testing positive for THC.

The highest court in the state has now firmly sided with employers on this issue, giving advocates a clear message that state protections are needed.

The case and many others like it highlight the gray areas and legal fixes needed in Colorado and other states that have reformed their marijuana laws. Given that the substance remains illegal under federal law, any rights bestowed upon civilians by state law fall far short of fully protecting medical marijuana patients and…

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Colorado: Supreme Court Affirms Employees Can Be Fired For Off-The-Job Marijuana Use

Colorado: Supreme Court Affirms Employees Can Be Fired For Off-The-Job Marijuana Use

DENVER, CO — Members of the Colorado Supreme Court have unanimously affirmed lower courts’ rulings that employers possess the authority to fire employees for their off-the-job use of marijuana.

The Court found that the plant’s legal status under state law does not make the act of consuming cannabis “lawful” under the state’s Lawful Off-Duty Activities Statute.

The Justices opined:

“The supreme court holds that under the plain language of section 24-34-402.5, C.R.S. (2014), Colorado’s ‘lawful activities statute,’ the term ‘lawful’ refers only to those activities that are lawful under both state and federal law. Therefore, employees who engage in an activity such as medical marijuana use that is permitted by state law but unlawful under federal law are not protected…

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Canada Supreme Court Rules Medical Marijuana Legal in All Forms

Canada Supreme Court Rules Medical Marijuana Legal in All Forms

OTTAWA, ON  — Medical marijuana patients in Canada will now be able to lawfully consume cannabis in all forms, instead of just being allowed to smoke it, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Thursday in a unanimous ruling.

Thursday’s ruling against the Canadian government expands the definition of medical marijuana beyond the dried form to include all derivatives, including oils, edibles and tinctures.

Because of the ruling, Sections 4 and 5 of the Controlled Drug and Substances Act, which prohibits possession and trafficking of non-dried forms of cannabis, will no longer be in effect, having been declared “null and void” by the Supreme Court.

According to Thursday’s ruling, the country’s highest court found that the current laws restricting medical marijuana to only dried…

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Connecticut Expunging Past Marijuana Convictions at Rapid Pace

Connecticut Expunging Past Marijuana Convictions at Rapid Pace

HARTFORD, CT — Connecticut judges have granted more than 80 percent of requests to erase marijuana possession convictions since the state decriminalized small amounts of pot in 2011, state Judicial Branch records show.

Superior Court judges have approved 32 of 39 petitions to erase convictions for marijuana possession in the past four years, after Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and state lawmakers downgraded possession of less than a half-ounce of pot from a misdemeanor with potential jail time to a violation akin to a parking ticket, with fines ranging from $150 for a first offense to up to $500 for subsequent offenses.

Although the number of erasures is small compared with the thousands of arrests for marijuana possession in Connecticut over the years, defense lawyers expect many more people…

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Kansas Supreme Court to Hear Wichita Marijuana Ordinance Case in September

Kansas Supreme Court to Hear Wichita Marijuana Ordinance Case in September

WICHITA, KS — The Kansas Supreme Court says it will decide whether a voter-approved ordinance in Wichita lessening criminal penalties for marijuana possession is legal.

The court ruled Wednesday that it will retain jurisdiction under its authority to hear issues of sufficient public concern. It kept in place a stay of district court proceedings.

It also noted that Wichita has already agreed that enactment of the ordinance should be put on hold until the courts rule.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt contends the ordinance is void because it conflicts with state law.

The ordinance imposes up to a $50 fine for first-time possession of a small amount of marijuana. State law deems it a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Oral arguments will be…

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US Supreme Court Seeks Obama Administration’s Views on Colorado Marijuana Law

US Supreme Court Seeks Obama Administration’s Views on Colorado Marijuana Law

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday asked President Barack Obama’s administration for its views on a lawsuit filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma against Colorado over its voter-approved law legalizing recreational marijuana use by adults.

The Obama administration has allowed states to implement marijuana legalization laws, even though cannabis remains illegal under federal law.

The high court’s action delays its decision on whether the nine justices will hear the case. There is no deadline for the U.S. Justice Department to respond to the court’s request.

In their challenge to Colorado’s law, Nebraska and Oklahoma said marijuana is being smuggled across their borders and that drugs threaten the health and safety of children.

Nebraska and Oklahoma noted that federal law…

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Colorado Defends Marijuana Legalization Law; Asks SCOTUS to Drop Suit

Colorado Defends Marijuana Legalization Law; Asks SCOTUS to Drop Suit

DENVER, CO — States are free to legalize marijuana, Colorado argued Friday in a filing to the U.S. Supreme Court in response to a lawsuit from neighboring states that have asked the nation’s highest court to shut down Colorado’s pot law.

The filing marks the first time Colorado has defended legal marijuana in writing. The federal government did not sue to block the state’s 2012 vote to legalize pot for all adults over 21.

Colorado said that Nebraska and Oklahoma should sue the federal government for not enforcing the Controlled Substances Act, not other states. Colorado said the states’ “quarrel is not with Colorado but with the federal government’s” approach to letting states experiment with pot law.

“Nebraska and Oklahoma filed this case in an attempt to reach across…

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Past Marijuana Convictions in Connecticut Can Be Erased, Supreme Court Says

Past Marijuana Convictions in Connecticut Can Be Erased, Supreme Court Says

HARTFORD, CT — People busted in Connecticut for possessing small amounts of marijuana have the right to get their convictions erased because the state decriminalized misdemeanor possession of pot in 2011, the state Supreme Court ruled on Monday.

The 7-0 ruling came in the case of former Manchester and Bolton resident Nicholas Menditto. A state prosecutor and Menditto’s lawyer said the decision affects thousands of people who have misdemeanor marijuana convictions in Connecticut.

“It’s a topic multiple states will have to be facing,” said Aaron Romano, Menditto’s attorney. “Because marijuana is being decriminalized across the United States, this issue needs to be addressed.”

In 2011, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and legislators changed possession of less than a half…

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Federal Judge Rejects DOJ Effort to Imprison Kettle Falls Five Defendants Pending Sentencing

Federal Judge Rejects DOJ Effort to Imprison Kettle Falls Five Defendants Pending Sentencing

DOJ continues to waste tax dollars trying to lock up family of medical marijuana patients, despite acquittal of almost all charges

SPOKANE, WA — Just one week after three medical marijuana patients were acquitted by a federal jury of all but one charge stemming from the widely watched Kettle Falls Five trial, US District Court Judge Thomas Rice rejected attemptsby the Justice Department (DOJ) to imprison the defendants pending sentencing on June 10th.

Judge Rice’s ruling comes just a day after defense attorneys filed their opposition to the government’s pre-sentencing detention effort.

The DOJ remains aggressive in its attempts to lock up the three family members, filing an emergency request for detention just one day after the jury reached its verdict. Apparently unsatisfied with a…

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Colorado’s Marijuana Legalization Laws Under Attack in Federal Court

Colorado’s Marijuana Legalization Laws Under Attack in Federal Court

DENVER, CO – A group of 11 sheriffs and county attorneys from Colorado and neighboring Plains states filed a federal complaint against Colorado’s Gov. John Hickenlooper to stop the sale of recreational marijuana in that state.

The complaint challenges Colorado’s Amendment 64 under the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the federal Controlled Substances Act, saying it places an unfair burden on the law-enforcement offices to corral the overflow of recreational marijuana now spilling into areas where possession remains illegal.

“The nation’s anti-drug laws reflect a well-established balance of national law enforcement, foreign relations, and societal priorities,” the complaint states. “If allowed to continue in effect, Amendment 64’s legalization and…

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