Marijuana Law, Policy, and Authority

Updates

Two New Articles on the International Law Ramifications of State Marijuana Reforms

State marijuana reforms raise a host of nettlesome–and seldom discussed–questions about United States compliance with and the ultimate fate of international drug control treaties. Fortunately, two new articles focus on those questions and begin to fill the gap in the literature. The first is by Brian Blumenfed, an attorney and researcher: Pacta Sunt Servanda: State Legalization of Marijuana…

Posted by on June 9, 2018 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Analysis of the Warren-Gardner STATES Act

[Update 6/8: I redrafted some of the language below for clarity and conciseness.] On June 7, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D MA) and Cory Gardner (R CO) formally introduced legislation to eliminate much of the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws. A full copy of the proposed legislation, called the “Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through…

Posted by on June 7, 2018 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Should the Patent & Trademark Office Register Trademarks for Marijuana Products?

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to debate the question posed by the title of this post with Shabnam Malek, a pioneering trademark attorney with Brand & Branch, LLP. The debate was organized by the International Trademarks Association (INTA) for its annual meeting in Seattle, and it was expertly moderated by Dean Megan Carpenter…

Posted by on June 6, 2018 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , ,


Arizona Supreme Court says State May not Criminalize Possession of Medical Marijuana on College Campuses

On Wednesday, in Arizona v. Maestas, the Arizona Supreme Court invalidated a 2012 state statute that had criminalized the simple possession of medical marijuana on college campuses. The Court found that the statutory prohibition conflicted with a voter approved initiative—the 2010 Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA). The AMMA lists a handful of places where the legislature…

Posted by on May 25, 2018 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


The Implications of Murphy v. NCAA for State Marijuana Reforms

[Updated for clarity] On Monday, the Supreme Court decided a case that should help insulate state marijuana legalization from preemption challenge. The decision in Murphy v. NCAA invalidated a federal law–the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA)—that had prohibited the states from (inter alia) “authoriz[ing] by law” sports gambling. 28 U.S.C. § 3702(1). I’ll summarize the…

Posted by on May 17, 2018 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


The Looping Problem in Marijuana Sales

States commonly limit the quantity of marijuana that a licensed supplier may sell to a consumer (see book pages 462-463). For example, Colorado’s Retail Marijuana Code Rule 402 provides that “A Retail Marijuana Store and its employees are prohibited from Transferring more than one ounce of [marijuana] . . . in a single transaction to…

Posted by on May 9, 2018 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , ,


Two Interesting Developments in Maryland’s Medical Marijuana Law

The Maryland legislature just passed a bill amending the state’s medical marijuana law. The Governor is expected to sign the legislation, which can be viewed here. Two particular changes struck me as noteworthy: First, the bill adopts new—and carefully designed—measures to address racial disparities in the state-licensed commercial marijuana industry. As I discuss in the…

Posted by on April 12, 2018 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Marijuana, Opioids, and Some Thoughts on Empirical Research on Marijuana Policy

Back in February, I discussed research suggesting that legalizing marijuana could help combat the nation’s opioid epidemic. See Marijuana and the Opioid Crisis. The theory is that once marijuana is legalized some people will use marijuana in lieu of opioids to treat chronic pain. It is the reverse of the gateway hypothesis that was once…

Posted by on April 9, 2018 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Congress Renews DOJ Spending Rider

The $1.3 trillion budget Congress passed on March 23, 2018 included a rider that continues to bar the DOJ from enforcing the federal marijuana ban in some circumstances. It is identical in substance to the Rohrabacher-Farr (or Rohrabacher-Blumenauer) amendments Congress has passed each budget cycle since 2014 (see book pages 353-358). The latest rider will…

Posted by on March 28, 2018 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


PharmaCann v. BV Development: Another Land Use Issue Confronts Marijuana Suppliers

As discussed in the book, marijuana suppliers have a relatively difficult time leasing real property for their operations (see pages 655-662). The problem stems from a provision of the federal Controlled Substances Act CSA) that makes it a crime for a landlord to lease any real property “for the purpose of unlawfully manufacturing . ….

Posted by on March 21, 2018 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,