Marijuana Decriminalization of Marijuana

News & Analysis as of

The People Have Spoken, and It’s Time to Start Smokin’. . . Or Just Say No

It’s July 1, 2015, and Oregon law now allows adults to lawfully use marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes. Many employers have already faced questions from employees about the impact of the state’s new...more

Despite State Laws, Marijuana Use is Illegal and Can be Grounds for Discharge

A client in North Carolina recently asked me whether it was lawful to fire an employee for smoking marijuana. “Of course,” I replied. She then added another fact: the employee had been on vacation in Colorado and returned...more

Colorado Supreme Court Upholds Employers’ Right To Fire Employees That Test Positive For Medical Marijuana

In a case which has been monitored by employers nationwide, the Colorado Supreme Court upheld an employer’s decision to terminate an employee for testing positive for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in a random drug test....more

Colorado Supreme Court Affirms Right to Discharge Medical Marijuana User Who Tested Positive in Violation of Zero Tolerance Policy

Today, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in Coats v. Dish Network, No. 13SC394 (June 15, 2015). The court held that Colorado’s lawful off-duty conduct statute does not prohibit employers from...more

New Report Calls for Marijuana Legalization in California

Could loosening the criminal sanctions on the possession, cultivation and sale of marijuana in California save a significant amount of money for the state, cities and taxpayers while boosting tax revenue?...more

Arizona Attorney General Opinion Embraces Taxpayer-Funded (Political) Advocacy: Potential Pitfalls for Businesses and Nonprofits

The Office of the Arizona Attorney General recently sparked debate by issuing an opinion advising two county attorneys that they may use public resources to disseminate messages about the dangers of marijuana use ahead of the...more

How New Marijuana Laws Will Impact the Hospitality Industry

On Feb. 10, 2015, Bill Berger and Matt Arentsen led a roundtable discussion at the Hospitality Law Conference in Houston, Texas. Speakers and attendees at the conference represented a broad spectrum of hospitality industry...more

Alaska Voters Approve Measure Legalizing Marijuana for Adult Recreational Use

On November 4, 2014, Alaska voters approved a ballot initiative legalizing the recreational use of marijuana for adults aged 21 and over. With passage of the measure, Alaska joined Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and the...more

Zero Tolerance for Marijuana Use by Employees: A Prescription for Litigation?

The dramatic inconsistency between federal and state law with regard to the use of marijuana may mean that employers with zero tolerance policies for marijuana use will face an increasing likelihood of litigation over the...more

The Approval of Recreational Marijuana Use May Change Workplace Drug Policies

Efforts to legalize marijuana secured major victories last Election Day when voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. approved laws allowing for the recreational use of a plant previously touted as the "evil weed" by the...more

Oregon Initiative Legalizes Recreational Use of Marijuana—What Does that Mean for Employers?

On Nov. 4, 2014, Oregon voted to decriminalize, regulate, and tax the production, delivery, and possession of marijuana. Oregon joins Alaska, Colorado, Washington, and Washington, D.C. in legalizing recreational marijuana...more

What Does Alaska’s and Oregon’s Legalization of Marijuana Change for Employers? Answer: Probably Not Much

In this week’s mid-term election on November 4, Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia became the latest jurisdictions to pass referendums decriminalizing the recreational possession and use of small amounts of...more

D.C. Voters Approve Recreational Marijuana Ballot Initiative

On November 4, 2014, voters approved a law legalizing recreational marijuana use in the District of Columbia. D.C. joins Alaska, Oregon, Colorado, and Washington in approving marijuana for recreational use....more

Don't Fear The Reefer, Oregon Employers: Legalization of Recreational Marijuana Will Not Impact Company Policies

On November 4, 2014, Oregon joined Colorado and Washington when voters approved a state initiative legalizing the recreational use of marijuana (Alaska passed a similar law the same day). As of July 1, 2015, it will no longer...more

Alaska Passes Initiative to Legalize Recreational Use of Marijuana—What Does that Mean for Employers?

Alaska voted on Nov. 4, 2014, to decriminalize possession, use, display, purchase, and transport of marijuana. Alaska has now joined Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. in legalizing recreational marijuana use....more

A Moment of Simple Justice: Legal Weed  [Video]

August 11, 2014 (Mimesis Law) -- The New York Times calls for the full legalization of marijuana and Scott looks back on what the criminalization of the substance has done to American society....more

Employers Stand by Their Drug Policies as Marijuana Laws Gain Ground

Marijuana laws are undergoing a quick and radical transformation in the U.S. Currently, 20 states plus the District of Columbia allow the use of marijuana for medical reasons. Two states — Washington and Colorado — have...more

Legal Marijuana: New Branding Opportunities, Same Old Infringement

Whether driven by new laws or technology, companies and individuals always push the limits of the law at the beginning. Obvious examples like Napster come to mind, as well as the more dated example of the VCR. Out in...more

Could SB 1262 be Implemented Before the 2016 Marijuana Decriminalization Push?

SB 1262 is the bill to watch for marijuana reform as it is the only strong contender for passage. The leading decriminalization effort was pushed to 2016 for money and voter turnout reasons, and no other well-funded (or well...more

First Glance: Obama Administration's Marijuana Guidelines 'Cold Comfort' For Banks

As long as possession of marihuana remains a federal crime, banks won't touch those businesses with a ten foot pole....more

Wild, Wild West: The Legalization of Marijuana Brings Lots Of Regulatory Concerns

The beginning of 2014 has brought many new laws into effect and we have written on a number of them. But few laws have received more mainstream media exposure than Colorado’s legalization of recreational marijuana. Of more...more

The Legalized Marijuana Industry’s Evolution Is An Exercise In Banking Compliance

On Jan. 1, recreational marijuana officially went on sale in Colorado, marking the first state in the Union to permit the recreational sale and use of marijuana. For the last year — following the passage of Amendment 64,...more

Rocky Mountain High: Colorado High Court to Weigh in on Employers’ Ability to Enforce Drug Policies in the Face of...

Last week the Colorado Supreme Court decided to review a 2013 appellate court decision holding that Colorado employers may lawfully terminate employees for their off-duty use of medical marijuana even if they are not impaired...more

What Marijuana Legalization Means for Your Drug-Free Workplace Policies

Drug-free workplace policies are in place to help ensure that employees come to work ready and able to work, and that they don’t endanger others while they are working. But beyond that, the issues become more complex, and...more

What Employers Need to Know About Marijuana Legalization in Colorado and Washington

Employers should brace for a number of lawsuits trying to expand these laws into something the courts have already said they're not: a right to have marijuana in one's system at work....more

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