To say that marijuana has a plethora of hurdles to overcome might be an understatement. Just because the American public’s opinion of marijuana has made an about-face from where it stood 10 years ago doesn’t mean marijuana’s path toward a potential federal approval or decriminalization has been made any easier.
Delaware on Friday officially decriminalized the private use of marijuana, becoming the nation’s 18th state to do so. Under the new laws, which go into effect in six months, people in Delaware can possess up to an ounce at a time.
The marijuana industry has a pesticide problem. Many commercial cannabis growers use chemicals to control bugs and mold. But the plant’s legal status is unresolved. The grow room at Medical MJ Supply in Fort Collins, Colo., has all the trappings of a modern marijuana cultivation facility: glowing yellow lights, plastic irrigation tubes, and rows of knee-high cannabis plants.
Marijuana is legal in both Washington and Colorado, and shops to buy legal weed are all over the Seattle area at this point. With the U.S. Open in Tacoma at Chambers Bay, I wondered if fans could just walk in with their completely legal marijuana.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has proposed a massive increase in the amount of marijuana it will allow to be produced this year in the hopes of meeting the demand of researchers studying new medicinal uses for the drug, it has announced. In the US, the manufacture and production of marijuana is controlled by the DEA, whose authority to do so stems from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)—a law which categorizes drugs in accordance with their risk of abuse and medical benefit.
Since the 1970s, advocates of an aggressive drug war have maintained that any liberalization of drug laws would send the wrong message to kids and increase adolescent drug use. This claim has been asserted repeatedly particularly in the debate over medical marijuana laws. But there’s an ever-growing body of peer-reviewed research suggesting otherwise, and the latest such study comes from a group of researchers at Columbia University and elsewhere in this week’s journal of Lancet Psychiatry.
The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that employers can lawfully fire workers for using marijuana outside of work hours, even though the drug is legal in the state, upholding two lower court decisions on the issue. The case, which involved a quadriplegic man who lost his job at Dish Network LLC after testing positive for marijuana in violation of company policy, had been closely watched around the country—especially in states where medical marijuana use is now legal.
House Republicans advanced a budget plan Thursday that would prevent legal sales of marijuana in the District until at least 2017. Advocates for legalization, however, called it a victory. What the Republican budget does not do yet is roll back Initiative 71, the voter-approved measure from November that legalized pot for recreational use in the nation’s capital. Since early this year, D.C. residents have been allowed to possess, grow and, in the privacy of their own homes, smoke marijuana.
This week New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie reiterated his intention to crack down on marijuana in states that have legalized it if he is elected president. In an interview on Face the Nation last Sunday, Christie answered “yes” when asked whether he would “return the federal prosecutions in these states,” “yes” when asked if he would “go after” marijuana, and “correct” when asked if legalization would be “turned off.”
The Oregon Legislature is considering imposing up to a 20 percent sales tax on retail sales of marijuana once it becomes available to consumers. Proposed amendments to a bill (HB 2041) allowing localities to prohibit marijuana facilities within 1,000 feet of schools would impose a 17 percent state tax on retail sales of marijuana products, from buds to candies.