By JACK HEALY
SEPT. 7, 2014
DENVER – Brandon Coats knew he was going to fail his drug test. Paralyzed in a car crash when he was 16, he had been using medical marijuana since 2009 to relieve the painful spasms that jolted his body. But he smoked mostly at night, and said marijuana had never hurt his performance answering customer calls for a Colorado satellite-television provider.
So when his employer, Dish Network, asked Mr. Coats to take a random drug screen, he was not surprised when the test came back positive for marijuana. He told his bosses why, but when he got to work the following week, he said, “my card wouldn’t open up the door.” He was fired for violating the company’s drug-free workplace rules, despite having a medical marijuana card.
“There are a lot of people out there who… Continue reading
Philadelphia: Mayor To Sign Marijuana Depenalization Measure
by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director
September 8, 2014
City mayor Michael Nutter announced today that he will sign municipal legislation into law decriminalizing marijuana possession penalties.
Under the measure, penalties pertaining to the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis would be reduced from a criminal misdemeanor to a non-summary civil offense, punishable by a $25 fine – no arrest and no criminal record.
Members of the City Council in June voted 13 to 3 to reduce municipal marijuana penalties. A slightly amended version of this proposal is anticipated to be before the mayor by the end of this month.
Anyone cited under the pending ordinance would be required to make an appearance before a Municipal Court judge, but would not face criminal charges or a criminal record. Those caught smoking marijuana in public… Continue reading
By Keith Stroup on September 8, 2014
As we approach the annual Boston Freedom Rally in mid-September, held on the historic Boston Common, I thought it might be a good time for me to share with the readers the details of a bust I experienced, along with High Times associate publisher Rick Cusick, for sharing a joint at the combined NORML/High Times booth at the 2007 Freedom Rally.
The reality is that marijuana smokers remain the target of aggressive and misguided law enforcement activities in most states today. They read about the newly-won freedoms in a handful of states, and dream of the day when their state laws will become more tolerant; but they are still being busted in large numbers and have to worry that next knock on the door may be the police with a search warrant, about… Continue reading
Why Some States’ Highly Conservative Approach to Legalizing Medical Marijuana Is Failing Patients Who Need It
By Paul Armentano
September 3, 2014
Lawmakers in nearly a dozen states in 2014 enacted legislation that promised to provide patients, particularly those suffering from intractable epilepsy, the opportunity to use cannabidiol (CBD) – a nonpsychotropic plant cannabinoid recognized for its anti-convulsant properties. The problem? So far, patients in none of these states possess the ability to legally access the compound. And there is no indication that this situation is going to change any time soon.
That is because CBD remains classified as a schedule I prohibited substance under federal law. (Congressional legislation, HR 5226, to amend CBD’s status was introduced in July.) As a result, multiple federal agencies — including the FDA, DEA, NIDA (US National Institute… Continue reading
Marijuana laws put workers in tough spot
@TrevorHughes USA TODAY
DENVER Every time he goes to work, Harvard-trained lawyer Andrew Freedman faces federal prosecution over the source of his paycheck: Colorado’s burgeoning marijuana industry.
Freedman, the governor’s chief marijuana adviser, faces prison time if federal prosecutors decide to step in. That’s because federal law still considers marijuana as dangerous as heroin or cocaine, and prosecutors could easily bring drugtrafficking charges if they choose. Freedman’s salary is paid by the taxes collected on legal marijuana sales.
“I’m in murky territory every day,” Freedman said.
Tens of thousands of marijuana growers, bud tenders, edibles makers, store owners and couriers working in Colorado and Washington and any of the other 21 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized recreational or medical marijuana face the same penalties.
The risk is even greater for dozens of former cops and soldiers working… Continue reading
When Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell was pulled over in Western Pennsylvania for smelling like marijuana, he didn’t know about Pennsylvania’s strict DUID law.
Bell was driving a Camaro with passenger and teammate LeGarrette Blount. The car had a 22-gram bag of cannabis in the glove box.
According to the police report, Bell told the motorcycle cop:
“I didn’t know that you could get a DUI for being high. I smoked two hours ago. I am not high anymore. I am perfectly fine.”
Surprise. In the Keystone State any amount of marijuana metabolites in your system is enough to charge you with “Driving Under the Influence of Drugs.” That means a joint you smoked smoked last month could turn into a criminal proceeding.
After his Ross Township traffic stop, Bell was sent to hospital to have his… Continue reading
By Niraj Chokshi September 1 at 6:49 PM
Go ahead, get the jokes out of your system. The staff of High Times, the counterculture drug magazine, has heard them all before.
For 40 years, they’ve put up with stoner quips and stereotypes. “People have this idea that we sit around and get high all day,” says Danny Danko, the magazine’s senior cultivation editor and author of its field guide to marijuana strains.
But as High Times celebrates its 40th anniversary with a special November issue that comes out Tuesday and is the largest in its history, the laughs are fewer and further between.
What started as an experiment by a mercurial provocateur and underground publisher has blossomed into an established brand, offering everything from licensing partnerships and an ever-expanding domestic events business to a just-launched private- equity fund. Along the way, something else changed:… Continue reading