Marijuana Law, Policy, and Authority


Are Physicians Being Adequately Trained to Recommend Marijuana to Their Patients?

Just because a state legalizes medical marijuana doesn’t mean that physicians will necessarily recommend the drug to their patients. Indeed, surveys have shown that only a small percentage of physicians in medical marijuana states have recommended the drug to their patients or plan to in the future (page 616 of my book). As I discuss…

Posted by on September 15, 2017 in News, Updates, , , , , , , ,

Iowa Officials Urged Not to Permit Importation of CBD from Minnesota

The Iowa Attorney General’s office just advised the state health department not to authorize two Minnesota medical marijuana dispensaries to supply medical marijuana to Iowa residents. If heeded, the advice would nullify a novel provision of Iowa’s nascent medical marijuana program. The provision, adopted as part of a package of reforms in May 2017, calls…

Posted by on September 12, 2017 in News, Updates, , , , , , ,

Interesting Opportunity to Try to Shape the WHO’s Scheduling of CBD (and Possibly Domestic Law Too)

The World Health Organization (WHO) is apparently reviewing the scheduling of Cannabidiol (CBD) and 16 other drugs under the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Prior to a meeting of the relevant WHO committee in early November, the WHO has asked member states (including the U.S.) for input. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible…

Posted by on August 23, 2017 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Coverage of DOJ’s Response to Legalization

The Cannabist has compiled a wonderful collection of primary documents detailing the back-and-forth between the governors of the first four recreational legalization states (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington) and the U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. The documents include: April 2017 letters from state leaders imploring Sessions to adhere to the Obama Administration’s non-enforcement policy. That…

Posted by on August 17, 2017 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , ,

Federal District Court Finds Connecticut Law Barring Employment Discrimination Against Medical Marijuana Users is NOT preempted

The decision in Noffsinger v. SSC Niantic Operating Co., LLC (Dist. Conn. 2017), is significant because it departs from a handful of earlier decisions that have found or at least assumed state employment protections were preempted. Those decisions are discussed on pages 672-81 of the book. Even though I largely agree with the result in…

Posted by on August 15, 2017 in News, Updates, , , , , ,

Could the States Do Anything to Blunt the Impact of a Federal Crackdown?

I just returned from the NCSL annual meeting in Boston, where I participated on a Marijuana Federalism panel with Representative Roger Goodman (WA state house) and John Hudak (Brookings). A short recap of the panel can be found here . Consistent with recent reports, all the panelists agreed the Trump Administration is unlikely to crack…

Posted by on August 9, 2017 in News, Updates, , , , , , ,

My Reactions to Cory Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act

Senator Cory Booker (D NJ) has introduced a proposal to repeal the federal marijuana ban. In a nutshell, Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act would exempt marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act. I believe Booker’s proposal to is incomplete (and therefore, both unwise and politically unpalatable) because it fails to offer any replacement for prohibition. I develop…

Posted by on August 4, 2017 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , ,

Federal appeals court allows private civil RICO to proceed against state-licensed marijuana grower (Safe Streets)

In Safe Streets Alliance v. Hickenlooper (June 2017), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit reversed the dismissal of a civil RICO lawsuit brought by a private plaintiff against a Colorado licensed marijuana cultivator. The original RICO suit – and the district court’s decision dismissing it – is discussed in the book at…

Posted by on July 25, 2017 in News, Updates, , , , , , , ,

Massachusetts court finds employers must accommodate employee’s off-duty medical marijuana use

Massachusetts’ highest court has ruled that employers have a duty to accommodate their employees’ off-duty use of medical marijuana.  The ruling in Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing, LLC (Mass. 2017), concerned a state handicap discrimination law (similar to the ADA) which makes it unlawful for any employer “to dismiss or refuse to hire . ….

Posted by on July 21, 2017 in News, Updates, , , , , ,