Medical Marijuana Decriminalization of 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

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

Medical Marijuana in the Workplace

With the recent expansion of legislation permitting the production, sale and use of marijuana for medical purposes, employers should begin to think about crafting a policy which addresses medical marijuana use in their...more

Medical Marijuana and Commercial Real Estate in California and Beyond

BB&K attorney Seena Samimi discussed in a Lawline presentation how conflicting medical marijuana laws impact commercial real estate owners, and what they should know in leasing to dispensaries. Real estate impacts...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

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

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

HUD Multifamily provides guidance on marijuana use in assisted housing

On December 29, 2014, Benjamin Metcalf, HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Assisted Properties, issued a memo to HUD Multifamily directors and contract administrators clarifying the impact of medical marijuana use...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

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

Weekly Update from the SC State House

Details from Each Chamber: HOUSE - The House worked through the Calendar this week, giving third reading to various bills on Tuesday. During the Majority Caucus meeting, the Speaker told the members that both...more

Northwestern/Harvard Research on Effects of “Casual” Marijuana Use Points to Need for More Research

As states, including California, continue to grapple with the medical marijuana/decriminalization question, scientific evidence continues to trickle in concerning the negative health effects of marijuana use. According to...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 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

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

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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