Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana refers to the use of marijuana to treat or alleviate symptoms of certain illnesses. A growing number of states permit individuals to use marijuana on the recommendation of a physician. Despite... more +
Medical Marijuana refers to the use of marijuana to treat or alleviate symptoms of certain illnesses. A growing number of states permit individuals to use marijuana on the recommendation of a physician. Despite state laws to the contrary, Federal law still prohibits the use or possession of marijuana. The conflict between state and federal law on this issue has created interesting enforcement issues and significant legal hurdles for medical marijuana providers.  less -
News & Analysis as of

One-Stop Shopping in Financial District Should Include Buying Medicinal Pot

When the Boston Zoning Board of Appeals meets next on August 4, I hope it votes to approve a permit sought by a medical marijuana dispensary to open a retail outlet at 21 Milk Street in the Financial District. It's not...more

Employer Required to Reimburse Employee For Medical Marijuana Treatment

The Court of Appeals of New Mexico issued a decision last week that many employers believe flies in the face of the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. §§ 801 (“CSA”), and the Justice Department’s August 29, 2013 Memorandum....more

SEC Settles With Stock Promoters in Medical Marijuana Stock Manipulation Scheme

On July 9, the Securities and Exchange Commission settled with two stock promoters accused of reaping $2.5 million in illicit profits by manipulating stocks of medical marijuana microcap companies. According to the proposed...more

Miners & Marijuana

As in other industries, mining companies must contend with employees and contractors using or being under the influence of illegal drugs in the workplace. Marijuana is one of the most prominent substances detected in drug...more

For Employers, Recent Decision Highlights Complexity of Medical Marijuana Laws

Last month, the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed the right of an employer to terminate an employee who tests positive for marijuana in violation of the employer’s drug policy. Although the impact of the decision is largely...more

Colorado Supreme Court Upholds Firing For Medical Marijuana Use

In a closely watched case, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that an employer could lawfully terminate an employee who tested positive for marijuana in a random drug test, even though the employee’s use of marijuana was...more

State Legal Marijuana Dispensaries Lose Out on Business Deductions

Federal income tax is a tax on “net” income – gross income less allowable deductions. Unless, however, you are a drug dealer – Code Section 280E does not allow sellers of federally controlled substances to deduct their...more

IRS v. Medical Marijuana: IRS 1 Medical Marijuana 0

The Internal Revenue Code may be the single strongest enforcement weapon in the battle over legal sale and distribution of "medical marijuana". The Opinion of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Oliver...more

A “Hotbox” Of Legal Issues: California’s Workplace Marijuana Laws

With New York joining in last year, nearly half the country has laws permitting state residents to use marijuana for medical purposes, and a handful even permit recreational use. California led the movement when it passed the...more

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

Trustee Alert – Health Plan Exclusion of Medical Marijuana

Due to changes in state marijuana laws, including medical and recreational use, health plan administrators are wondering whether they may be required to cover medical marijuana or whether a plan can or should exclude it from...more

Rocky Mountain High Part II: Colorado’s Highest Court Approves Employer’s Stance that Employee Toke is No Joke

Last week the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that an employer can fire an employee for use of medical marijuana away from the workplace. The case is Coats v. Dish Network, No. 13SC394 (June 15, 2015). The plaintiff is a...more

Colorado Medical Marijuana Case is Not as Far-Reaching as Expected

On June 15, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its highly anticipated decision in Coats v. Dish Network. In a unanimous decision, the court in Coats upheld the termination of an employee who failed a random drug test...more

Recent Colorado Supreme Court Decision on Medical Marijuana Highlights Risks Facing Employers in Connecticut Who Seek to Enforce...

As many of our clients know, we frequently train and counsel employers on the implications of Connecticut’s medical marijuana law in the workplace. Although medical marijuana use remains illegal under federal law,...more

Medical Marijuana Still “Unlawful”

The Colorado Supreme Court considered whether a state law prohibiting discrimination based on an employee’s “lawful” off-work activities applies to the employee’s use of medical marijuana as permitted under state law. Coats...more

Colorado Decision Shows Continuing Tension Between Legal Marijuana and Employer Drug Testing

Last week, the Colorado Supreme Court rejected the claim of a quadriplegic employee terminated for testing positive for marijuana. In Coats v. Dish Network, LLC, the plaintiff possessed a valid medical marijuana card issued...more

Colorado Supreme Court Plays Debbie Downer for Medical Pot Users

The wait is finally over. Employers in Colorado – and in other states with similar lifestyle laws – can breathe a sigh of relief following a recent ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court. In Coats v. Dish Network, a...more

HHS Removes Extra Hurdle for Marijuana Research

The process for studying the potential medical benefits of marijuana became more streamlined on Tuesday, when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services eliminated a controversial requirement for Public Health Service...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

Study: One in Seven Colorado Adults Use Marijuana

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reports that roughly one in seven, or 13.5 percent of adults in Colorado currently use marijuana. In addition, nearly half the adult population of Colorado, 48.9...more

Colorado Allows Firing of Employee Who Used Medical Marijuana

As more states jump on the medical marijuana bandwagon, employers are faced with increasing questions about how these changes in the law affect drug testing policies. The conventional wisdom has been that medical marijuana...more

Colorado Supreme Court Okays Discharge of Medical Marijuana-Using Employee

Colorado, like some other states including New York, has a law that generally prohibits an employer from discharging an employee for engaging in lawful activities outside of work. Earlier this week, in Coats v. Dish Network,...more

It’s Not All “High” in the Rockies – Colorado Supreme Court Finds That Employees Can Be Fired For Use of Medical Marijuana

As more states legalize medical marijuana and consider legalization of “recreational” marijuana, many employers have wrestled with the question of whether they can still maintain a drug free workplace or must allow employees...more

Colorado Supreme Court Upholds Termination of Medical Marijuana User - A Trend Is Beginning for Courts to Permit Employers to...

In Coats v. Dish Network, the Colorado Supreme Court held that the state’s “lawful activities” statute did not limit the right of an employer to discharge an employee for the employee’s lawful (under Colorado law) use of...more

Colorado Employers Can Fire Workers for Off-Duty Medical Marijuana Use

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled on June 15, 2015, that an employee can be fired for using medical marijuana even though the drug is legal in Colorado and the employee was not at work at the time. The unanimous decision...more

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