Category Archives: Legal Marijuana

Marijuana and the Midterm Election Results

After the 2018 midterm elections, Michigan became the 10th state, along with the District of Columbia, which voted to legalize marijuana.  Although South Dakota voted down a measure to legalize pot, Missouri and Utah voters supported legalizing it for medicinal use.  An initiative in North Dakota failed.  Recreational marijuana is now legal in 10 states; medical marijuana is legal in 33. 

In June, Oklahoma voted to legalize medical marijuana, joining numerous other states that have such laws on the books.  In January, Vermont became the first state to legalize marijuana through its legislature rather than a ballot initiative.  The governor signed the bill into law. 

Marijuana prohibition began 80 years ago when the federal government banned the sale, cultivation, and use of the cannabis plant.  It remains illegal at the federal level.  Overturning prohibition is one of the few hot-button topics with widespread support. A recent poll by the Pew Center found that 62% of Americans, including 74% of millennials, said they supported legalizing marijuana. 

In October, Canada legalized marijuana nationally, becoming the first G7 country to do so. Mexico’s Supreme Court also ruled last month that marijuana prohibition is unconstitutional, paving the way for the country’s new leader, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, to possibly follow Canada’s lead.

 

Legal Marijuana Approved on Election Day

To add to the growing list of states that allow either medical marijuana or recreational use of marijuana, the following states voted on November 4, 2014 to modify how marijuana is treated:

OREGON: Voters passed Measure 91 which legalizes the possession, use and sale of recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over, joining Colorado and Washington state.  The law will also create a regulatory scheme for the production, distribution and sale of marijuana.

ALASKA: Voters approved Measure 2 which legalized the possession, use and sale of recreational marijuana. Adults 21 and older may possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants for personal use. The measure also legalizes the manufacture, sale and possession of marijuana paraphernalia.  Consequently, Alaska now joins the legal recreational marijuana bandwagon.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Voters approved Initiative 71 which legalizes adult marijuana use, possession of up to 2 ounces, and home cultivation of up to six marijuana plants for personal use.  However, the sale of marijuana remains illegal.  The Council of D.C. is considering a separate bill that would allow for the regulation and taxation of marijuana sales similar to Colorado and Washington state.

MAINE: Voters in South Portland, the fourth-largest city in the state, approved a measure that removes all legal penalties for possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana by adults.  Maine’s largest city, Portland, already legalized recreational marijuana last year.

NEW MEXICO: Voters in New Mexico’s Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties overwhelmingly approved the decriminalization of marijuana in nonbinding ballot questions meant to measure support.

CALIFORNIA: Proposition 47 passed reclassifying most non-serious and non-violent property and drug crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor.  This means that felonies like shoplifting and drug possession will be reduced to misdemeanors.

OHIO: Medical marijuana is now legal in Ohio and there are now ohio medical marijuana dispensaries but you have to have the required medical conditions to purchase it.

FLORIDA: While Amendment 2, which would have legalized medical marijuana in the state failed to pass, it did get 57 percent approval at the ballot. However, the measure required 60 percent to pass.

TEXAS: medical marijuana in texas is legal but you have to get it for epilepsy treatment only and there are a few legal loop holes you have to jump through to even get it then.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. No recipients of content from the site, the clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the site without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient’s state. The content of this blog contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts, or settlements. The Tucker Law Firm expressly disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this blog.

 

Colorado Tax Revenue From Marijuana – Not Going As Planned

Voters legalized retail marijuana in 2012 and began selling it to everyone 21 or over in 2014. Coloradans  were told the state would get $33.5 million from two new taxes in the first six months of 2014.  Wrong.

Smokers are still buying on the black market. The state thought people would migrate out of the black market but only 60% of people who want pot in Colorado this year will buy it through legal channels according to an estimate from the Marijuana Policy Group. One big reason: Legal pot costs a lot more than illegal pot because of taxes and fees.   Legal marijuana is taxed more than 27%, so it’s easily cheaper on the black market.

Medical marijuana users who act as resellers. Some may be buying dope from medical marijuana patients who buy it on the up-and-up and then resell it to others — depriving the state of tax revenue.

Self growers. Any Coloradan over 21 can grow up to six plants for personal use. If they are selling it on the black market, that’s even more tax revenue the state’s missing out on.

More are buying medical marijuana. Medical marijuana is taxed far less than recreational pot, at a rate of 2.9% rather than more than 27%. While Coloradans must visit a doctor to get a medical marijuana card, that currently costs just $15. About 23% of the estimated marijuana users in Colorado (or 2% of the state population) have medical cards, according to the Marijuana Policy Group.  That number is increasing.

Lawmakers were too optimistic in their revenue forecasts. State law requires the government to refund taxpayers if it collects more than expected.  Wanting to avoid returning money collected from retail marijuana sales, lawmakers made “rosier” projections, state lawmaker Jonathan Singer said recently.

To be fair, Colorado is in uncharted territory as the first state to legalize the drug for recreational purposes, and it’s only been six months.  This is an ongoing experiment.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. No recipients of content from the site, the clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the site without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient’s state. The content of this blog contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts, or settlements. The Tucker Law Firm expressly disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this blog.

 

Effect of Marijuana Legalization

Looks like the ongoing debate about marijuana legalization in the United States has reached a new high: President Barack Obama’s White House. “As has been well-documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life,” Obama told New Yorker Editor David Remnick. “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”

Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.  It’s legal for those 21 and older. Only about 22% of adult women and 11% of adult men are lifetime alcohol abstainers.  Marijuana, on the other hand, is classified by the Drug Enforcement Agency as a Schedule 1 substance — the same category as heroin, LSD and Ecstasy — and is illegal in almost all states for recreational use. As such, comprehensive data on the drug’s use and misuse in the United States is limited.

Alcohol’s addictive qualities are well-documented. Approximately 17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence, according to the NIAAA. Alcoholics in withdrawal can suffer from anxiety and depression, headaches, insomnia, nausea, fever and even seizures.

The addictive qualities of marijuana are not yet fully understood. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates 9% of people who use marijuana will become addicted to it. For comparison’s sake, cocaine hooks about 20% of those who use it. “There is clear evidence that in some people, marijuana use can lead to withdrawal symptoms, including insomnia, anxiety and nausea,” CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta wrote in his story, “Why I changed my mind on weed,” referring to medical marijuana.

A new study found that even slightly buzzed driver — drivers with a blood alcohol level of 0.01%, meaning someone who has had even one drink — are 46% more likely to be blamed for a crash when they collide with a sober driver. The jury is still out on the impact of people who use marijuana and drive. Early studies showed marijuana had a slight impact on the psychomotor skills needed to drive, but these studies were seen as limited since they were done in lab situations.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. No recipients of content from the site, the clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the site without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient’s state. The content of this blog contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts, or settlements. The Tucker Law Firm expressly disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this blog.

 

 

 

MN & SC Approve Medical Marijuana

Minnesota recently legalized the medical use of marijuana. Now, the Minnesota Department of Health is seeking a director and about ten other employees for its new Office of Medical Cannabis, which will implement the medical marijuana bill signed into law last month by Gov. Mark Dayton.

Minnesota’s new law lets patients obtain marijuana in a liquid or pill form, but they won’t be allowed to smoke marijuana or use plant materials in vaporizers. Patients need a doctor’s certification to be part of the registry.

Two manufacturers will be certified in 2015, and each will have four distribution points spread across the state by July 2016. Unfortunately, patients will only be able to access marijuana in an extracted form, not the natural flowers, and the law requires patients and their doctors to participate in an onerous and costly study. The compromise also prohibits patients with intractable pain, wasting, and nausea from legally using medical cannabis despite good science showing it works for these terrible ailments.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) signed the Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Treatment Research Act into law this week, clearing the way for children with severe epilepsy to use cannabidiol oil (CBD), a non-psychoactive derivative of cannabis, to help reduce their seizures if recommended by a licensed physician. If it has been recommended by a licensed physician then you can easily shop cbd online if you wanted. This bill has shown that there is a big confusion between CBD and marijuana and the public is unsure of the differences between them. With CBD, it must contain less than 0.3 percent THC whereas marijuana is over that. If you would like to look into more of the differences then visit https://www.neotericnutra.com/blog/does-marijuana-have-any-of-the-medical-benefits-that-cbd-has.

The bill, which passed the Senate unanimously and cleared the House with a 92-5 vote, will also designate a new clinical trial at the Medical University of South Carolina dedicated to evaluating the effectiveness of CBD in controlling epileptic seizures. Seven other states, Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin, have also implemented similar CBD-only medical marijuana proposals in the past four months. Almost half the states and DC now allow the use of medical marijuana. It’s now much easier to get medical marijuana, for example, you can even now get marijuana doctors in florida to help you out if needs be. Just google it and you’ll find a place that will allow medical marijuana.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. No recipients of content from the site, the clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the site without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient’s state. The content of this blog contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts, or settlements. The Tucker Law Firm expressly disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this blog.

Colorado: New Pot Vending Machines

Meet Zazzz, the nation’s first identity-verifying marijuana vending machine. Unveiled at an invitation-only party in Avon, Colorado last weekend, it has become another first in a state where recreational marijuana has been legalized. It comes equipped with state-of-the-art technology to check a user’s identity and can dispense a full array of marijuana products, including edibles and pre-rolled cigarettes.

But even as it was making its debut, other parts of the state continue to grapple with growing concern over the danger associated with misguided marijuana use or pot falling into underage hands. “This is all happening so quickly we can’t keep up with it,” said Rep. Frank McNulty, a Republican lawmaker in Colorado’s General Assembly. He said Wednesday that in testimony in committee, as well as in media reports, there have been almost daily incidents of children ingesting marijuana resembling candy or cookies, with some kids ending up in the hospital.

McNulty and Democratic Rep. Jonathan Singer of Boulder have joined together to sponsor a bill to standardize the potency so that one ounce of a marijuana leaf product is the same as an edible or other type. The lawmakers are also pushing a measure that would require that any candy that contained marijuana be distinguishable from normal candies, either in shape, color or size.

By law, such products, including cannadips can contain no more than 10 milligrams of THC per serving, but often consumers don’t pay attention to serving sizes. One large brownie can contain up to 10 servings, or 100 milligrams of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

Said Stephen Shearin, chief operating officer for Tranzbyte, the Tempe, Ariz., company that developed Zazzz, the first machine would be located inside a medical marijuana dispensary in Eagle County near Vail. Consumers would have to give proof of age and identity to enter the store, and the vending machine’s technology will offer a second layer of protection.

It is expected to be up and running in a few weeks once regulations are finalized. Shearin said there were already two pending orders for additional machines — one in Colorado and one in an undisclosed location on the East Coast — with a lot of interest pouring in for others. He said his company could make up to 17 per week.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. No recipients of content from the site, the clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the site without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient’s state. The content of this blog contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts, or settlements. The Tucker Law Firm expressly disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this blog.

Important Pot Ruling: Colorado

 

Colorado’s second-highest court ruled this week that certain people convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana can ask for those convictions to be thrown out under the law that legalized recreational marijuana.  The Colorado Court of Appeals said people whose cases were under appeal when Amendment 64 took effect in December 2012 are eligible to have their convictions reversed.

A spokeswoman for the Attorney General John Suthers said prosecutors are reviewing the opinion to determine any next steps.  Marijuana advocate Brian Vicente said the ruling could affect hundreds of people who were given jail terms for petty marijuana offenses.

The case involved a woman who was convicted of multiple drug charges, including possession of about a third of an ounce of marijuana.  Amendment 64 decriminalized the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana.  In the ruling, the judges said a defendant could get post-conviction relief if “there has been significant change in the law.”

Colorado began selling recreational pot in 2014. Legalizing recreational pot meant that a load of pot businesses benefited. It became so much easier for business’ to then sell their products such as these top shelf vapes for sale @ dopeboo.com. Prior to that, Colorado was one of a number of states and the District of Columbia to allow the sale of medical marijuana.  State revenue officials say Colorado made roughly $2 million in marijuana taxes in January, with 59 businesses selling about $14 million worth of pot.  Later this year, Washington state will join Colorado in the legal sale of recreational marijuana. 

Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. No recipients of content from the site, the clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the site without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient’s state. The content of this blog contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts, or settlements. The Tucker Law Firm expressly disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this blog.

 

 

Alaska: Next State to Legalize Marijuana?

Alaska may be poised to become the third state to legalize the sale of marijuana. If marijuana does become legal, then people will be able to visit sites such as https://firethc.net/flowers/, however, this only comes about once recreational marijuana has been legalized (recreational is different to medical). Once recreational marijuana does become legal then people will easily be able to buy different types of marijuana like this this death bubba. Advocates have cleared the signature hurdle to place an initiative on the August, 2014 ballot. The Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is sponsoring the legislation.

Presently, Alaska is one of 20 states and Wash. DC that approve the medical use of marijuana. In the late 1990’s, Alaska removed state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess written documentation from their physician advising that they “might benefit from the medical use of marijuana.” Patients or their primary caregivers may possess no more than one ounce of marijuana, and may cultivate no more than six marijuana plants of which no more than three may be mature. The law also established a confidential state-run patient registry that issues identification cards to qualifying patients.

Predominantly Republican Alaska would become the reddest state to approve retail marijuana from outlets like marijuana specials san jose. But Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol spokesman Taylor Bickford stated that the legalization may be attributed to a libertarian streak. “Alaska voters have a large degree of respect for personal liberty and freedom, and that’s reflected in the poll numbers we’ve been seeing,” said Mr. Bickford. A Public Policy Polling survey recently found 55% of registered voters agree with legalizing pot for recreational purposes, with 39% opposed.

Colorado is now the only state to legalize the retail sale of marijuana, to be followed by Washington state this summer.

The Alaska initiative follows closely the language of the Colorado and Washington state measures, which legalize small amounts of marijuana for adults 21 and over. The sale and cultivation would be regulated by the state in a manner similar to that of liquor.

The state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board would have regulatory oversight over recreational marijuana, but the state legislature would have the option of establishing and shifting authority to a Marijuana Control Board. The measure also calls for a $50 per ounce excise tax for sales or transfers of marijuana from a cultivation facility or a store. Local governments could opt out by banning retail sales in their jurisdictions, although marijuana use and possession would still be legal.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. No recipients of content from the site, the clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the site without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient’s state. The content of this blog contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts, or settlements. The Tucker Law Firm expressly disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this blog.

Change is Coming to Banking Because of Legal Marijuana

U.S. treasury and law enforcement agencies will soon issue regulations opening banking services to state-sanctioned marijuana businesses even though marijuana remains classified as an illegal drug under federal law, Attorney General Eric Holder recently said.

Holder said the new rules would address problems faced by licensed recreational pot retailers in Colorado, and medical marijuana dispensaries in other states, in operating on a cash-only basis, without access to banking services or credit.  With the drug still outlawed at the federal level, banks are barred under money-laundering rules from handling proceeds from marijuana sales even in states sales are now legal.

Proprietors of state-licensed marijuana distributors in Colorado and elsewhere have complained of having to purchase inventory, pay employees and conduct sales entirely in cash, requiring elaborate and expensive security measures and putting them at a high risk of robbery.

“You don’t want just huge amounts of cash in these places,” Holder told the audience at the University of Virginia. “They want to be able to use the banking system. And so we will be issuing some regulations I think very soon to deal with that issue.”  Colorado became the first state to open retail outlets legally permitted to sell marijuana to adults for recreational purposes, similar to what many states have long had in place for alcohol sales.

Washington state is allowing the sale of marijuana later this year, and several other states, including California, Oregon and Alaska, are expected to consider legalizing recreational pot in 2014.  The number of states approving marijuana for medical purposes has also been growing. California was the first in 1996, and has since been followed by about 20 other states and the District of Columbia.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. No recipients of content from the site, the clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the site without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient’s state. The content of this blog contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts, or settlements. The Tucker Law Firm expressly disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this blog.

Brave New World: Colorado THC-Infused Food

There are many consequences to legalization of marijuana in Colorado and soon, Washington state. Besides the popularity of pot-infused foods, there is also a trend of those requesting catering services to provide THC-infused foods for the planned event. Which brings us to the influence of legalized THC-infused foods everywhere. Surely the day will come, and it may not be far off, when the resident of a skybox at Mile High Stadium will request that THC-infused food and beverages be provided while watching the Broncos play?

Though pot use remains illegal under federal law, the Feds have indicated they will leave the states allowing recreational use of marijuana alone for now. One of many aspects of this new world is the adding or infusing of pot’s high-inducing element, commonly called THC, into food and beverage products. The sales of these products, once reserved for those with a medical reason, has taken off like a rocket.

“Edibles have been really huge with the recreational market,” Linda Andrews, owner of LoDo Wellness Center in Denver, told ABCNews.com. “They’re great if you’re not a [marijuana] connoisseur and you want something more palatable,” she said. “And they are certainly more discreet.” Andrews estimates that the sale of edibles are up 300 percent at her store which previously only served medical marijuana patients. Among the most popular items are marijuana-infused chocolate bars which are sold in a pack of four for $15 and chewy, chocolaty Dixie Rolls, which sell for $17 a pack. Andrews has had to impose a 2 per person limit until manufacturers catch up.

Apparently Andrews’ story is not unusual. Joe Hodas, chief marketing officer for Dixie Elixirs and Edibles, a top marijuana edibles manufacturer, said the company is building a new 30,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and warehouse to keep up with demand.

Between retail sales of THC-infused foods and catered events featuring such foods, the outlook for the growth of this industry is bright indeed.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. No recipients of content from the site, the clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the site without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient’s state. The content of this blog contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts, or settlements. The Tucker Law Firm expressly disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this blog.