The state of Oregon officially legalized recreational marijuana use on July 1st of this year, but similar to Colorado and other states, there have been no changes in laws for the workplaces ability to fire employees for marijuana use. One TV anchor in Oregon was recently fired after testing positive for marijuana following a fender bender on the way to a live shot. She says she used marijuana several days before and never uses the drug at work, but marijuana can stay in someones system for almost a month, making an unexpected drug test a nightmare. "I wasn't fired because I couldn't do my job. I wasn't fired because of my work ethic, my attitude, or my abilities," Maurer said. "I was fired for enjoying a plant, on my own time, in the privacy of my own home. A plant that the majority of voters in Oregon believe should be legal."
Since Maryland approved of medical marijuana in the state last week, one county with a proposed growing operation is showing mixed feelings. Opposers seem to be concerned about the intention of recreational legalization, which they don't approve of in fear of the federal government shutting their businesses down. Despite legislation protecting individual states from interference of the federal government, some officials are not convinced. Most legislators agree that more research should be done on the drug, though the local universities that could do so recieve too much federal money to risk involvement. "I have supported (medical marijuana) in the past and still do," said Sen. Andrew A. Serafini, R-Washington, because of families who are impacted by illnesses marijuana could be used to relieve. "Here's my concern — it's still illegal under federal law. What happens when somebody enforces federal law?" he asked.
Since the legalization of marijuana in Washington state, certain cities have chosen to not allow marijuana businesses within their limits. After applying for a business license multiple times and being turned down, one man named David Morgan in the city of Pasco has decided to open his own recreational marijuana shop in hopes of helping the city with incoming tax revenue. City officials have announced they plan to take action the same way they would for any business operating without a necessary license, but Mr. Morgan is hoping with his business being preestablished the city will adjust zoning laws and grant the store a proper license. “We’re hoping that they’ll change their zoning and grant us a license so we can help the city get their share of tax revenue,” Morgan said Some customers signed a petition asking the city to lift its ban on marijuana businesses. All were required to have their identification scanned as they entered to prove they are at least 21 and show it again if they bought anything
Italy may be well on it's way to being the largest country in Europe to legalize marijuana, but it may take a few more years to convince majority of politicians. A recent survey in Italy shows 77% of those interviewed believed Italy should follow US states like Colorado and Washington with legalization and regulation of the drug. 250 of Parliament's 945 members have already signed a bill to show support for the decriminalization, production, and sale of marijuana , which is promising considering only 10 years ago the country passed a law treating marijuana with harsher sentences. Della Vedova is nevertheless optimistic: "So far, more than one-fourth of all lawmakers have signed the bill, these include more than [a] third of the deputies sitting in the chamber. So there is a concrete possibility that this proposal will be approved."
Washington state has taken huge strides in marijuana law reform as one of the 4 states to recreationally legalize the drug. Despite being legal, Washington's laws aren't all convenient for users, including the inability to grow personal cannabis at home, and the new open container law requiring marijuana to be transported in an unopened container in the trunk of a vehicle. Issues sprouting from this law are expected as the language does not specify the different containers allowed compared to the common receptacles given by dispensaries. The new law also regains the ability for law enforcement to suspend a persons' license if the driver is proven to be under the influence of marijuana. A new state law, House Bill 1276, will update the state’s open container laws for vehicles to include marijuana. The law stipulates that marijuana, like alcohol, must be kept in the trunk of a vehicle, in an unopened container, or in another part of the passenger cabin “not normally occupied or directly accessible by” the driver or passengers. The law, signed by Governor Jay Inslee on June 30, will take effect September 26.
History was going to be made when the first ever marijuana television ad was planned to air in Denver, Colorado, where the plant is recreationally legal, until it was pulled a few days before airtime due to fear of unknown consequences. After watching the ad, you'll see that there is no mention or visual of marijuana, and infact the ad was actually for a vape pen to be used with marijuana and not plant matter itself. The ad features friends attending concerts, stargazing, and enjoying campfires while sporting the phrase, "recreate responsibly", but still the ad was pulled as the FCC has yet to make a public stance on marijuana ads, but the airwaves are under federal control. “Channel 7 has officially put all cannabis commercials on hold until further notice, as ABC corporate investigates the legality of airing a ‘federally illegal’ substance on federal airwaves,” said Olivia Mannix, co-founder of Cannabrand, the ad agency that produced the Neos spot, in an email to CNNMoney.
Since legalization in Washington state, many new regulations are being put into place to help keep the industry under closer control. One important change is following many butane explosions from inexperienced people trying to make marijuana concentrates. The new law requires a special license granted to those properly trained and in state-certified environments to use butane to create the increasingly popular concentrates. Other changes coming to the state include: PTSD and brain injury being added as qualifying conditions for medical marijuana; no more than 15 cannabis plants can be grown in a single housing unit regardless of multiple eligible patients; health practitioners cannot have a practice primarily consisting of medical marijuana authorizations; and several more changes. The law prevents any medical marijuana processor from using the gas. But an I-502 licensed recreational processor can use butane because the facility is in a highly-controlled and state-certified environment. Hash oil explosions have become more common with inexperienced manufacturers improperly using butane to extract the ultra-high potency oil derived from marijuana.
State representatives in Pennsylvania have been hard at work devising a medical marijuana bill they feel will pass the House and give the patients long awaited relief. One state rep says he doesn't think the bill will be ready by this fall, meaning patients could be waiting another year or two for the first access to safe and legal medicine. Some are hoping amendments will be made allowing those in need access to other state's medical marijuana as soon as Pennsylvania's governor signs the bill. "At this point, it's more important to get a good bill that helps a lot of people," said Bentch, whose daughter suffers from seizures which aren't controlled with approved drugs, and who believes a marijuana-derived medication offers the best hope.
Arizona courts have had recent trouble deciphering the differences between lawful and unlawful motives to search citizens based on the smell of marijuana. Two different cases regarding the smell of cannabis ended with conflicting results but the judges say they're unique cases. One case ruled a legal search when an officer smelled marijuana during a traffic stop, while the other case involved a permissable search warrant into a building after the smell of marijuana. Despite legal medical marijuana programs in the state, law enforcement still consider the smell or presence of marijuana to mean criminal activity. The state's medical marijuana law provides immunity under certain circumstances, but possession of marijuana generally remains a crime, so the smell of marijuana is an indicator of possible criminal activity, Thursday's ruling stated.
Twenty22Many is a group of advocates for allowing medical marijuana to veterans in the fight against PTSD and suicide. A recent estimate from the Department of Veteran Affairs said 22 veterans commit suicide everyday. Washington state just added PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana joining 10 other states. Twenty22Many wants to inform all veterans that this medicine can help their condition other than addictive and side-effect filled pills. Washington law now allows any adult 21 or older to buy marijuana in state-licensed stores. But a medical authorization for PTSD is the right approach, said Cammarata, who hopes the VA will one day use marijuana as part of a treatment plan. “Cannabis by itself can be abused, just like anything,” he said. “It needs to be recognized as the medicine it is.”
Since the legalization of marijuana in Washington D.C. it has only been legal to grow your own buds or have them given to you as a gift. An important bill passed a key committee in the Senate this week that would allow the regulation and sale of marijuana, as well as allowing those legal marijuana businesses safe access to banks without consequence. This coming year poses to bring major change to marijuana policy as the presidential election approaches and the new head of the DEA is rumored to be deephmasizing marijuana enforcement. The U.S. House voted four times this year to let states set their own marijuana policies (twice on medical marijuana, twice on hemp). Another amendment allowing states to legalize marijuana like alcohol without federal interference failed by only nine votes, a stunning outcome considering it was the first time Congress has ever voted on outright repealing marijuana prohibition.
Retirement is something on every adult/seniors mind; will I have enough to live off of, where will I spend my golden years, do I have access to ample healthcare? Many medical marijuana dispensaries experience about 50% of seniors as their customer base, and with medical marijuana becoming more and more popular within the senior community, places like California and Oregon, with extensive marijuana programs, are growing to be the best places to retire. But “there is anecdotal evidence that people with health conditions which medical marijuana could help treat, are relocating to states with legalized marijuana,” said Michael Stoll, a professor of public policy at University of California, Los Angeles who studies retiree migration trends.