Controlled Substances Act Decriminalization of Marijuana

News & Analysis as of

States Continue Trend to Legalize Marijuana

During this recent election season, in addition to choosing the next President of the United States, voters in many states had a hand in dictating the future of legal marijuana use in this country. Previously, only Colorado,...more

Election results widen gulf between federal v. state regulation of cannabis

Legal cannabis programs continue to spread to more states with every election cycle. On Nov. 8, 2016, Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota passed laws legalizing cannabis for medical uses, while California, Nevada,...more

Nevada’s New Recreational Marijuana Law: What Employers Need to Know

On November 8, 2016, voters approved Nevada’s Initiative to Regulate and Tax Marijuana (more commonly known as Question 2) by a margin of 54 percent to 46 percent. When codified and enacted, this law will be cited as the...more

Marijuana Election Results: Risks and Opportunities

Trump and Clinton grabbed all of this week’s headlines, but marijuana-related referenda were also on the ballots in nine states. The results of the referenda will dramatically change the landscape of state-legalized marijuana...more

Historic Night for Cannabis Legalization

Tuesday night was the biggest electoral victory for cannabis reform since Colorado and Washington's 2012 approval of the recreational use of cannabis, with eight states passing ballot measures legalizing some form of cannabis...more

Marijuana Legalization Efforts Enjoy Success, Demonstrating Major Shift in Approach to Drug Regulation and Use

Election Day 2016 proved to be a historic occasion for initiatives favoring expanded access to marijuana. On November 8, California and Nevada joined West Coast early adopters Alaska, Oregon, and Washington in choosing to...more

Don’t Fear The Reefer, Nevada Employers - Legalization Of Recreational Marijuana Will Not Impact Company Policies

With yesterday’s vote legalizing recreational marijuana in Nevada, some employers might be concerned about the impact that this new law will have on workplaces across the state. However, Nevada employers can rest comfortably:...more

If More States Vote ‘Green’ This November, Some Believe It Could Be ‘The Beginning of the End of the War On Marijuana’

Next month, voters in five more states will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana. As reported by The New York Times in an insightful article on this issue, some legalization advocates hope a (green) thumbs up...more

Recreational Marijuana Placed on California November Ballot

Voters will have the opportunity this coming November to determine whether California joins a growing number of states that have legalized recreational marijuana. If so, what would this mean for employers?...more

Court Declines to Prevent Merger of Washington Medical and Recreational Marijuana Markets

Over the last year, the Washington state marijuana industry has anticipated the transition from an unregulated medical marijuana market to an integrated, medical-recreational market on July 1, 2016, under the Cannabis Patient...more

Recreational Cannabis — Section 280E and Tax Efficient Structuring

I. The Conflict: The long arm of federal law Recreational cannabis businesses operate in a world of conflicting state and federal laws. Several states have legalized recreational cannabis, yet, under federal law, cannabis...more

Ohio Becomes the Latest State to Legalize Marijuana for Certain Medical Uses While Avoiding Constitutional Ballot Initiatives

Last year, Ohio legislators found themselves caught in the middle of a media firestorm created by various pro-legalized marijuana groups who were politically savvy and financially funded enough to place multiple proposed...more

Pennsylvania's Medical Marijuana Act Leaves Employers' Ability to Enforce Strict Drug-Free Workplace Policies Hazy

On April 17, 2016, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation authorizing the use of medical marijuana (the Medical Marijuana Act or MMA) in Pennsylvania. The new law – effective May 17, 2016 – allows patients...more

Ninth Circuit Agrees That Prohibition on the Possession and Distribution of Cannabis Does Not Violate RFRA

Founder and president of Oklevueha Native American Church of Hawaii, Inc. (“Oklevueha”), Michael Rex “Raging Bear” Mooney, filed suit in 2009 against various federal officials in the Federal District Court of Hawaii.  Mooney...more

The Challenges of the Evolving Marijuana Industry: Reconciling State Legislation with Federal Prohibition

Cultivation, production, distribution, or possession of marijuana is a federal criminal offense under the Controlled Substances Act (the CSA). Yet, despite federal prohibition, state-sanctioned marijuana industries have...more

Cannabis and Preemption: U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Suit by Colorado’s Neighbors

In what was generally considered to be the biggest challenge to Colorado’s recreational cannabis laws to date, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a motion by the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma seeking to file a Bill of Complaint,...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Nebraska and Oklahoma’s Lawsuit Challenging Colorado Recreational Marijuana Laws

In December 2014, the States of Nebraska and Oklahoma filed a motion for leave to file a complaint against the State of Colorado with the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). The motion argued, among other things,...more

Cannabis investing—a safe high?

The successive legalization of adult recreational use of marijuana in four states—Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska—and the District of Columbia, as well as legalization of marijuana for medical use to varying degrees...more

Employers and medical marijuana: Are California's anti-drug policies up in smoke?

What’s an employer to do when faced with employees using marijuana in or out of the workplace? How should employers respond to employees who use or possess marijuana legally under California law? How does such use or...more

Conflicting State and Federal Laws May Result in Crippling Blows to Business in the Marijuana Industry

As of October 2015, four states have legalized marijuana for recreational use: Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. The recreational marijuana movement—although slow in terms of states following by legalizing use—has had...more

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