News & Analysis as of

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

Decriminalization and Legalization of Marijuana

At the start of this year, Colorado was the first state to implement the legal use of recreational marijuana. It is a huge milestone and an ongoing battle to make weed decriminalized and legal in the United States. While the...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

How Will Marijuana Legalization In Colorado & Washington Affect Employers?

Employers are not required to accommodate an employee’s current use of illegal drugs, including marijuana. Moreover, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer can prohibit the illegal use of drugs (including...more

Making it Legal - Washington State’s New Pot Laws Finally Finalized

Finally, after almost one year of planning, debate, and hearings, Washington State adopted new regulations related to the growth, sales, and regulation of marijuana. Residents of Washington at last have the information they...more

Nevada’s New Medical Marijuana Law—Now What?

Despite the unsettled nature of federal enforcement of the federal criminal drug laws in the context of state medical marijuana laws, the Nevada Legislature enacted Senate Bill No. 374 during its recently completed 77th...more

Illinois Becomes The 20th State To Legalize Medical Marijuana; Will Drug-Free Workplace Policies Go Up In Smoke?

On August 1, 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, making Illinois the 20th state to legalize medical marijuana. This law goes into effect on January 1,...more

DOT Clarifies Position After States Permit Recreational Use of Marijuana

On December 3, 2012, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Director, Jim Swart, with the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance, issued a letter responding to inquires about the impact to DOT regulations after the...more

What Employers Should Know About Colorado’s New Marijuana Use Law

On November 6, 2012, Colorado voters passed Amendment 64 to the Colorado Constitution by a 55 to 45 percent margin, making Colorado one of the first states in the nation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Prior to...more

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