Archives: Medical Marijuana

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Pennsylvania Enacts Medical Marijuana Law

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation that legalizes the use of marijuana for medicinal uses on April 17, 2016. The new law, Senate Bill 3, known as “The Medical Marijuana Act” permits patients suffering from ALS, autism, cancer, Crohn’s disease, nerve damage, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Huntington’s Disease, inflammatory bowel syndrome, intractable seizures, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Permission For Lawsuit Seeking to Invalidate Colorado’s Legalization Of Marijuana

The U.S. Supreme Court denied a motion filed by the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma for leave to file a complaint against the state of Colorado, challenging that State’s legalization of marijuana. The Supreme Court denied the motion without opinion or explanation on March 21, 2016. In December 2014, Nebraska and Oklahoma moved for leave … Continue Reading

Montana’s Revised Medical Marijuana Law Survives Constitutional Challenge

The Montana Supreme Court has upheld against a state constitutional challenge the State’s 2011 Montana Marijuana Act, a new statutory framework embodying the State’s effort to limit abuses resulting from the 2004 Medical Marijuana Act, which was established by voter initiation. Montana Cannabis Industry Ass’n v. The State of Montana, 2016 Mont. LEXIS 168 (Feb. … Continue Reading

New Mexico Court Holds Employers Need Not Accommodate Medical Marijuana Use

A federal court in New Mexico dismissed the lawsuit of an employee who was fired after testing positive for marijuana, even though he used medical marijuana in accordance with state law. Garcia v. Tractor Supply Company, No. 15-cv-00735 (D.N.M. Jan. 7, 2016). The Court held that the employer did not violate New Mexico law or … Continue Reading

Washington Court Dismisses Medical Marijuana Claims Asserted by Employee

Another Washington court has held that an employer lawfully may terminate an employee for using marijuana, even when the employee had a prescription and used it off-duty. Swaw v. Safeway, Inc., No. C15-939 (W.D. Wash. Nov. 20, 2015). After a workplace injury, Safeway tested its employee, Swaw, for drugs. Swaw tested positive for marijuana due … Continue Reading

New York Passes Emergency Medical Marijuana Law

Less than two months before New York’s Compassionate Care Act of 2014 was supposed to make medical marijuana available to qualified patients, Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a measure (A. 7060, S. 5086) creating “an expedited pathway” to the drug for the seriously ill. The purpose of the measure, according to its legislative findings and … Continue Reading

Marijuana-Legalization Efforts and Their Impact on the Presidential Race

With the race for the White House heating up, the “politics of marijuana” is looming as a possibly significant factor. Twenty-four state ballot initiatives on marijuana legalization in 16 states have been filed already and will be voted on in November 2016, including in the “swing states” of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, and … Continue Reading

New Hawaii Medical Marijuana Law Bars Use in Workplace; Zero Tolerance Policies Still Enforceable

Closing a gap in Hawaii’s medical marijuana law, a new law sets up a regime of vertically integrated grow facilities and retail dispensing licenses for the delivery of medical marijuana to “cardholders” in Hawaii. The stated intent of the new law, signed by Governor David Ige on July 14, 2015, is to ensure a commercialized … Continue Reading

Medical Marijuana Business Expenses Are Not Tax Deductible, Court Holds

Taxpayers cannot take deductions for business expenses associated with operating a medical marijuana dispensary, according to a recent ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Olive v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, No. 13-70510 (9th Cir. July 9, 2015). In 2012, the United States Tax Court assessed penalties and fines against San Francisco’s Vapor Room … Continue Reading

Colorado Supreme Court Holds Medical Use of Marijuana is Not “Lawful”; Upholds Employee Discharge For Positive Drug Test

In a long-awaited and highly-anticipated decision, the Colorado Supreme Court unanimously upheld an employer’s termination of an employee who tested positive on a drug test due to his off-duty use of medical marijuana. Interpreting Colorado’s “lawful activities statute,” the Court held that the term “lawful” refers only to activities that are lawful under both state … Continue Reading

New York Implements Medical Marijuana Rules

The New York State Department of Health has issued regulations implementing the State’s medical marijuana law, enacted last July.  (See post, New York Becomes 23rd State to Enact Medical Marijuana Law, July 10, 2014). Published April 15 in the State Register, the regulations allow the use of marijuana for patients with cancer, AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, … Continue Reading

Georgia Enacts Medical Marijuana Law

Georgia became the twenty-fourth state to enact a medical marijuana law. On April 16, 2015, Governor Nathan Deal signed legislation that immediately legalizes the use of a low-potency form of cannabis oil for medicinal uses. The new law, House Bill 1, known as “Haleigh’s Hope Act,” permits patients suffering from cancer, Crohn’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s … Continue Reading

Federal Spending Bill Creates Controversy Over Federal Government’s Position on Medical Marijuana

Buried in the $1.1 trillion federal spending bill for 2015 — which Congress approved last weekend and which President Obama signed into law on December 16, 2014 — is a measure stating that federal funds may not be used by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to prevent certain states from implementing medical marijuana laws.  … Continue Reading

Michigan Medical Marijuana Law Allows Employees Terminated for Positive Marijuana Test Results to Receive Unemployment Benefits

A Michigan appellate court has held that an employee who holds a state medical marijuana card is not disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits after the employee has been terminated for failing a drug test, where the employee received a positive test result for marijuana or its metabolites.  Thus, the question we posed earlier this year, … Continue Reading

New Minnesota Medical Cannabis Law Protects Employees From Discrimination For Medical Marijuana Use

Minnesota’s new Medical Cannabis Act, signed into law on May 29, 2014, differs from many other state medical marijuana laws in that it narrows the kind of medical cannabis permitted.  It also offers considerable protections to applicants and employees in the workplace. The law does not cover marijuana that can be smoked.  It defines “medical … Continue Reading

Court Affirms Workers’ Compensation Determination Requiring Employer To Reimburse Employee for Costs of Medical Marijuana

A New Mexico intermediate appellate court has affirmed a workers’ compensation judge’s determination that an employer and its workers’ compensation carrier are required to reimburse an employee for costs associated with the purchase of medical marijuana.  Vialpando v. Ben’s Auto. Servs. and Redwood Fire & Casualty, 2014-NMCA-32,920 (N.M. Court of Appeals, May 19, 2014). Gregory … Continue Reading

Will Positive Medical Marijuana Test Result In Denial Of Unemployment Benefits?

May unemployment benefits be denied where an employee authorized to use medical marijuana under state law tests positive for the drug on a workplace substance abuse test, is fired under the employer’s zero tolerance policy, and seeks unemployment compensation?    Michigan’s state Court of Appeals is being asked to provide an answer.  Rick Braska, a fork-lift … Continue Reading

Doctors Unhappy With Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Law Coverage

The Massachusetts Medical society doesn’t think the bar will be set high enough for legal marijuana use under the Bay State’s Medical Marijuana Law effective January, 2013.  Under proposed regulations issued by the Department of Public Health, individuals with a debilitating medical condition (e.g., cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease) may seek the law’s … Continue Reading

Maryland Becomes 19th State to Legalize Medical Marijuana — Is Illinois Next?

Governor Martin O’Malley has approved legislation creating Maryland’s first medical marijuana program, making it the 19th state to legalize medical marijuana. H.B.1101 (also known as the “Medical Marijuana – Academic Medical Centers – Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Marijuana Commission” bill), signed into law on May 2, 2013, establishes a Medical Marijuana Commission that will allow the distribution … Continue Reading