Massachusetts Medical Marijuana News
The state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that authorities can’t prosecute motorists in Arizona for driving under the influence of marijuana unless the driver is impaired at the time of the stop.
This ruling overturned a decision last year that upheld the right for authorities to prosecute marijuana users for driving under the influence even when there was no evidence of impairment.
The state Supreme Court explained that while state statute makes it illegal for a driver to be impaired by marijuana, the presence of inactive metabolites or non-psychoactive compounds (such as CBD) from marijuana, does not constitute impairment under the.
Attorney Michael Alarid III stated that “this does have far-reaching impacts on medical marijuana patients… and it basically corrects an error in the interpretation of the law.”
Steve Beshear, governor of Kentucky, has signed Senate Bill 124 into that which will legalize CBD (cannabidiol) for those who need it medicinally.
CBD oil has been shown to drastically reduce seizures in both children and adults suffering from epilepsy while producing none of the “narcotic effects” found in THC.
State universities who have a school of medicine will be permitted to produce and distribute CBD, the non-psychoactive component found in marijuana, to patients that are deemed qualified by university physicians.
Patients who have enrolled in a trial approved by the FDA will be permitted to be administered the cannabis extract as well.
The state of Utah also legalized CBD for medicinal purposes last month.
It looks like the “Garden State” might be doing some gardening of a different kind come November. The state of New Jersey has just filed a bill that would legalize marijuana for recreational use on a state wide level where they would tax it in a similar fashion as alcohol.
Senate Bill 1896 was introduced last week by Senator Steve Scutari and it goes into detail on how New Jersey would monitor the possession, retail sale, and the cultivation of marijuana. Under Scuatari’s bill, adults would be permitted to possess as well as transfer up to an ounce of marijuana; however, they transference must not come at a fiscal gain for either party. This does exclude retail shops, which he also hopes will be formed and governed similarly to alcohol once they are established. The bill also allows the cultivation of up to 6 plants.
There will also be a state imposed tax on the sale of recreational marijuana which will be divided into 3 sub categories. One of which, dubbed the “pot for pot-holes” tax will take 70% of the collected money and put it towards fixing up the New Jersey state roads and highways.
Chris Christie, the current Governor of New Jersey has been stern on his stance that marijuana will not be legalized or decriminalized while he is still governor. Scutari has responded to this by saying “He’s not going to be governor forever.”
420careers.com has announced that due to the massive expanse of the marijuana industry, jobs being offered in the marijuana industry are at an all-time high. With so many new states allowing medical marijuana and many more that will likely do so in the very near future, demand to get into such a “growing” industry just makes sense.
High Times magazine has taken note of the growing marijuana industry job market with an article about 420careers.com, the online marijuana industry job board where job seekers can browse and apply for jobs and employers can post available jobs.
The combination of the recreational and medical marijuana industries could prove to net over $2 billion in sales in 2014 alone, and that number is only going to get bigger. Reports have shown that as many as 15 states could legalize marijuana to some degree by 2018, which could generate upwards of $10 billion annually.
Job seekers can apply for jobs directly through 420careers.com, while employers can freely post whatever available openings that they may have. The majority of jobs being filled right now are in the
Marijuana Industry Job Board
Aenacted almost a year ago in Massachusetts is continuing to cause great hardships for patients in need of medical marijuana.
In the spring of 2013, the Department of Public Health announced that caregivers would only be allowed to grow marijuana for oneat a time, resulting in a massive shortage of medicine. This has left many medical marijuana patients with minimal choices on how to get the medicine they need.
Patients can either grow the medicine themselves, which can prove to be a difficult and tiresome chore for many, especially those with chronic and debilitating diseases such as cancer or HIV, or they can turn to the black market where they are forced to try and purchase marijuana from a potentially dangerous source.
These patients are now being forced to wait untilopen in the summer of 2014 to obtain the medicine they need. And on top of everything, they are still paying the $50 annual fee and around $200 for a ’s recommendation.
It appears Americans now understand that consuming marijuana poses less harm to their health than the consumption of alcohol, tobacco or sugar, according to a poll released by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News.
Respondents were asked which four substances they believed to be the “most harmful to a person’s overall health.” The poll revealed that tobacco (49%), followed by alcohol (24%) and sugar (15%) were believed to be the most harmful. Then marijuana (8%) was believed to be the least harmful. The poll possesses a margin of error of +/- 3.10 percent.
“These results once again reaffirm that an overwhelming majority of the American public understands that any potential risks associated with the use or abuse of cannabis are relatively minor to those associated with many other legal and regulated substances,” said Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of NORML. “Criminalizing cannabis and those who consume it responsibly is a disproportionate public policy response to what is, at worst, a public health issue but not a criminal justice concern.”
Currently, marijuana is classified as a schedule I controlled substance by the Federal government, putting it in the same class as heroin.
A hopeful candidate in the medicallicensing process has decided to sue the state’s Department of Public Health on Monday after its application was denied.
Cardiac Arrhythmia Syndrome Foundation based out of Lowell feels that its application was scored in a faulty manner and they were wrongfully denied. They also go on to claim that the winning applicant should have been disqualified as a result of leaving out crucial information as well having a number of errors on their application.
Patriot Care Corp, who was the winning applicant in Lowell, is accused of failure to pay taxes, a bankruptcy by a senior member of the team, as well as entirely omitting a lawsuit filed against them that purported fraud. Patriot Care Corp. stands by the process, and is confident that their application was filed properly.
This isn’t the first lawsuit that the Department of Public Health in Massachusetts has seen. Two additional applicants have also filed suit over similar discrepancies.
Massachusetts is defending the method that they have implemented to select the companies that will run medical; however, they have yet to touch on the subject of why these applicants’ are not being verified until after they have had their provisional licenses approved.
The head of theprogram has since stated that the Public Health Department “rigorously verifies” all the information found in the application to ensure that nothing has been falsified or is not accurate. This statement follows the allegations that the health department has been playing political favoritism when it comes to the issuing of licenses.
It seems strange that the department of public health chose not to review the accuracy of these applications before they decided to give out these provisional licenses. The director of the state medical marijuana program responded by saying that “app applicants signed a sworn statement, under the pains and penalties of perjury, indicating that the information provided in their application was complete and accurate.”
The State of Massachusetts is awarding just 20 licenses for medicalacross the state, and one applicant feels he wasn’t given a fair opportunity at obtaining one of these licenses. He is citing political favoritism as the reason.
Former Massachusetts Congressman, William Delahunt’s company dubbed Medical Marijuana of Massachusetts was fortunate to obtain 3 of these 20 licenses. A lawyer involved in the case pointed out that former Congressman Delahunt’s application implied that his business would be growing its marijuana hydroponically, a style of growing that is forbidden under Massachusetts’s guidelines.
It’s also widely known that Public Health commissioner, Cheryl Bartlett, has previously been involved in raising funds for Delahunt’s campaign. Bartlett claims she stepped down form the agency’s medical marijuana license program just 10 days prior to the licenses being administered.
Delahunt’s business partners have denied that his political connections had anything to do with the way his licenses were obtained.
NORML lawyers are urging the Massachusetts Supreme Court to instill some limitations in regard to police conduct when dealing with searches and questioning for possession of small amounts of marijuana.
As it stands now, an officer can question a suspect simply based on the odor of “raw marijuana” due to a judge’s reasoning that “a strong odor of marijuana to the officers training and experience” would imply that there was more than an ounce present. So basically the judge is confident thatenforcement is capable of differentiating between the smell of one ounce of raw marijuana and a gram of raw marijuana.
NORML has since asked the Court to rule that “a police officer may not question a person about possible marijuana in his possession or control based only on the officer’s perception of odor.”
They hope that this will lead to police issuing simple tickets as opposed to people continuing to be detained for personal amounts of marijuana. The case is scheduled for March 3, with hopes that a decision will be made before summer.