Weekend News Recap
February 11th, 2018
Employers blocked from discriminating against staff using marijuana in Maine
Now this is smart. Way to go Maine! If only Connecticut actually protected patients by doing this…. -Dabbin Dad
Workers in Maine no longer have to worry about getting in trouble at work for smoking marijuana in their off time.
Employers in the state will no longer be able to discriminate against employees for using marijuana or marijuana by-products outside after new laws went into effect, and the state’s Labour Department has removed the drug from its list of substances that employers can test applicants for, according to the employment law firm Littler Mendleson PC.
The new law applies only to individuals 21 or older, and prohibits refusing to hire someone who uses marijuana in their off time as well as simple discipline for pot use.
Individuals who use marijuana during work hours and at the work place can still be disciplined by their employers for being under the influence at work. A positive test result, however, won’t be enough to prove an employee was or is under the influence, according to a state labour department spokesperson.
The US has seen a growing tolerance for marijuana use in the past several years, with a handful allowing for recreational marijuana use, and even more allowing for medicinal marijuana uses. Read more
Fox News Poll: Support for legalizing marijuana hits record high
Does this article from FOX News show that even Republicans are looking to start smoking pot? Cannabis should not be a partisan issue. Maybe it’ll hit Trump’s media schedule. – Dabbin Dad
With recreational use of marijuana now legal in nine states plus Washington D.C., the latest Fox News Poll finds a record number of voters nationally favor legalization.
The poll shows 59 percent of voters support legalizing marijuana. That’s up from 51 percent in 2015, and 46 percent in 2013 (the first time this question was asked on a Fox News Poll). In addition, only 26 percent favored making “smoking marijuana” legal in 2001.
Thirty-two percent now oppose legalizing pot, down from a high of 49 percent in 2013.
“This is a massive shift in opinion over a very short period. As more states legalize marijuana without the negative consequences opponents have warned about, support will likely continue to increase,” says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts the Fox News Poll with Daron Shaw, his Republican counterpart.
Millennials (72 percent) are more likely than Gen Xers (60 percent) and baby boomers (52 percent) to support legalization.
Two-thirds of Democrats (68 percent) and independents (67 percent) favor legalization. Republicans split 46-46 percent. In 2015, 59 percent of Republicans were against it. Read more
A Maryland professor wants his school to pursue a credit-bearing cannabis program
Hurry up already. I need another degree! – Dabbin Dad
Three years ago, assistant professor Shad Ewart launched a course on the emerging business of medical marijuana at Anne Arundel Community College.
The course was offered in response to student demand, he said. Now Ewart sees another demand, this time from the industry — a demand for skilled entry-level workers to help grow, process and sell cannabis.
“They absolutely want qualified workers to work for them,” Ewart said.
To meet that demand, Ewart is proposing a credit-bearing certificate program at the college to train students for their first jobs in the medical cannabis industry.
Tony Toskov, founder of the soon-to-open dispensary Green Point Wellness in Linthicum, Md., said that there is a need for such a program. If he had a stack of five résumés, he said, he would call the person with the certificate first because it would show that they are seriously interested in the industry. He thinks other employers would probably feel the same way.
Ewart has many hoops to jump through before such a program becomes reality. So far, he has secured approval from the dean of the School of Business and Law to form a focus group in the next four to six weeks. He will figure out exactly what the employers are looking for, he said, and from there will build a program that meets those needs.
“I’m going to turn to them and say, ‘You tell me what you want out of a graduate, and I will deliver that graduate to you,’ ” he said. Read more
Prosecutors ask Massachusetts marijuana regulators to hold off on cannabis cafes, home delivery
Risks to Public Safety??? Really, wasn’t this covered already??? – Dabbin Dad
District attorneys asked state marijuana regulators on Friday to hold off on licensing certain types of businesses, including so-called cannabis cafes and home delivery services, echoing a similar appeal by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.
In a letter to the five-member Cannabis Control Commission, the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association said draft regulations that would allow for such businesses exceed the scope of the state’s voter-approved recreational pot law and greatly increase “the risks to public safety.”
“We have security concerns for these businesses, their employees and their customers,” the prosecutors wrote. “Moreover, these businesses heighten our concerns relative to such issues as operating under the influence, increased marijuana access by persons under the age of 21, theft and diversion to the black market.”
The rules proposed by the commission and being reviewed at public hearings around Massachusetts would allow adults to use marijuana in licensed social settings, such as cannabis cafes. The regulations also envision home delivery services and the sale of marijuana at mixed-use facilities, which could include movie theaters or other venues. Read more
Federal Medical Marijuana Protections Temporarily Extended, Again
The can is kicked down the street again. This is why people have little faith in government… nothing gets accomplished. Federal Medical Marijuana is protected temporarily again…great. Stop band-aiding the issue, stop wasting Federal funds and legalize cannabis already. – Dabbin Dad
After a brief government shutdown, congressional leadership voted to enact a six-week continuing resolution that maintains present federal spending levels and priorities through March 23, 2018. The resolution extends medical cannabis patient protections imposed by the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment until that date.
The amendment, which has been in place since 2014, maintains that federal funds cannot be used to prevent states from “implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”
Without these protections, medical cannabis cultivators and dispensaries exist with a greater threat than normal of federal enforcement of national prohibition, yet the certainty that these protections will be honored have been in doubt throughout the entire Trump administration.
When President Trump signed the first Continuing Resolution in 2017, he issued a signing statement regarding the amendment:
“Division B, section 537 provides that the Department of Justice may not use any funds to prevent implementation of medical marijuana laws by various States and territories. I will treat this provision consistently with my constitutional responsibility to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
Essentially stating that his administration believes they can ignore these protections if they do not view them to be Constitutional. Read more
H/T: Independent, Fox News, Washington Post, The Cannabist, NORML