Florida Man Who Handed Out Free Marijuana “Because It Was Christmas” Got Arrested

(The AEGIS Alliance) – ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – A Florida man was arrested on Saturday in St. Petersburg by police because he was handing out marijuana for free to people who passed by “because it was Christmas,” WFLA reported.

67 year old Richard Ellis Spurrier was giving away marijuana to people in downtown St. Petersburg according to police. Officers found 45 grams of the narcotic in Mr Spurrier’s possession.

A digital weighing scale was also discovered on Spurrier’s person, along with a prescription bottle that had his name on it, and a glass pipe. Police also discovered a sword that was hidden inside Mr Spurrier’s walking cane.

Mr Spurrier is being charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia. Richard Ellis Spurrier was released from police custody on Sunday.

There are some Floridians who seem more than happy to share the green substance when they are in possession of the recreational marijuana.

A man in Flagler County, Florida was placed under arrest back in May of 2019 after telling  police officers, “You gotta smoke a bowl [of weed] with me please,” CBS Miami previously reported.

Mr Arthur Carracino had flagged down officers before telling them that fateful statement and showed off his marijuana plant to them, and admitted he grew the plant, Mr Carracino was then arrested by police.

Medical marijuana in Florida has been legal since 2016, and there is a resolution being proposed to decriminalize it in the amount of 20 gram or less. Florida legislature is expected to vote on the recreational marijuana resolution in 2020.

However, there are those opposed to the proposal of recreational marijuana in Florida. Floridians Against Marijuana, or FARM made an announcement in November that it intends to prevent marijuana legalization in Florida known as “the Sunshine State.”

“Our coalition has come together to defeat this dangerous ballot initiative, which will drive an increase in health care prices, increase costs on businesses and kill jobs and increase the burden on taxpayers that will pay for the costs associated with recreational marijuana,” Brian Swensen said in a news release, the campaign manager for FARM, Tallahassee.com reported.

Unfortunately Florida Senator Marco Rubio also opposed marijuana legalization during his 2016 campaign when he told rally goers he believed “pot is an insidious as alcohol.”

“No one can tell me that alcohol’s had a positive impact on society. “It destroys marriages and lives. It kills people… and now you want to add another intoxicant and make it legal?” Rubio stated.

“There’s no positive impact to using marijuana,” Rubio mentioned. “Now, if there’s a medicinal use, if you can go to the FDA and prove that it helps with medicine, that’s fine. Then turn it into medicine.”

However, the movement for marijuana legalization in Florida continues to gain momentum from its people, and Floridians need to be heard loud and clear on this issue.

Video courtesy of WFLA that initially reported on this story:

Trump Says He Can Ignore Medical Marijuana Protections Passed By Congress

President Trump Signs VA Accountability Act

December 21, 2019

Tom Angell

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website.

In a statement attached to a large-scale funding bill he signed into law on Friday, President Trump said in effect that he reserves the right to ignore a congressionally approved provision that seeks to protect state medical marijuana laws from federal interference.

Division B, section 531 of the Act provides that the Department of Justice may not use any funds made available under this Act to prevent implementation of medical marijuana laws by various States and territories,” Trump wrote in a signing statement. “My Administration will treat this provision consistent with the President’s constitutional responsibility to faithfully execute the laws of the United States.”

Although the vague language doesn’t directly say he plans to ignore Congress’s will to block Justice Department prosecution of medical cannabis patients and providers, presidents typically use signing statements such as this one to flag provisions of laws they are enacting which they believe could impede on their executive authorities. By calling out the medical marijuana rider, Trump is making clear that his administration believes it can broadly enforce federal drug laws against people complying with state medical marijuana laws even though Congress told him not to.

But it doesn’t necessarily mean that a crackdown is on the way.

The administration hasn’t carried out any major enforcement activities against state-legal marijuana businesses since taking office, in accordance with Trump’s campaign pledges that he would respect the right of states to enact their own cannabis laws without federal interference. That also goes for recreational policies and businesses that aren’t even covered under the congressionally adopted rider, which has been part of federal law since 2014.

It is the third time Trump has said in a signing statement that his administration doesn’t necessarily have to abide by the medical marijuana provision. He included similar language when signing off on annual appropriations bills last year and in 2017, though he did not do so in 2018.

In August, the president reiterated his support for letting states legalize cannabis without federal interference.

“It’s a very big subject and right now we are allowing states to make that decision,” Trump said. “A lot of states are making that decision, but we’re allowing states to make that decision.”

Last year, when asked about separate pending congressional legislation that would more broadly exempt state-legal marijuana activity from the federal Controlled Substances Act, he said he “really” supports the bill.

Given the president’s consistently voiced support for respecting state cannabis laws, it’s not clear why he has gone out of his way to reserve his right to ignore the medical marijuana rider on a near-annual basis.

Among the handful of other provisions Trump singled out in his new signing statement are ones dealing with the closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, restrictions on diplomatic activities and the dissemination of information that may be protected by executive privilege.

The Fiscal Year 2020 funding bill that Trump signed into law on Friday does not contain a broader rider seeking to shield all state marijuana laws—including those that allow recreational use and sales—that had been approved by the House of Representatives earlier this year. It, along with another provision that would have protected banks that serve state-legal cannabis businesses from federal punishment, was dropped from the final legislation in bicameral negotiations with the Senate.

Congressional leaders did include several cannabis-related provisions in a report attached to the legislation, though, such as language directing the Food and Drug Administration to formulate a policy of enforcement discretion for CBD products and requiring the National Institute on Drug Abuse to compile a report on the barriers that the Schedule I status of drugs including marijuana places in front of scientific research.

CONTINUE READING…

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Decatur police training officers to draw blood for marijuana testing

Untitled

by: Cole Henke

Posted: Dec 16, 2019 / 12:33 PM CST / Updated: Dec 16, 2019 / 12:33 PM CST

DECATUR, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — Police across the state are looking for an admissible test, like a breathalyzer, to test for those driving high, once marijuana is legalized.

Until then, Decatur police will use a different method. They will test your blood.

The officers began their training last year, well before the state legalized pot.

If an officer suspects someone is driving high, they can bring them in, and if the person gives permission they can draw their blood for testing. The tests would check for THC content, rather than traces of marijuana. THC leaves the blood much quicker, signs of the drug as a whole, which can stay in the blood for weeks.

The person who was pulled over can refuse the blood test, but that has consequences similar to refusing to take a breathalyzer test.

Sangamon County Jack Campbell said he will not be training any of his officers in phlebotomy. He does believe that there needs to be a test, or else law enforcement won’t be able to curtail what he expects to be a substantial uptick in DUI’s.

So far, Decatur police have only trained a few officers to draw blood. The process is expensive, but as more money becomes available, they said they will send more to training.

That won’t be the only new method Decatur police will be using to patrol the streets. The Decatur Police Department received a $500,000 donation from the Howard Buffett foundation. That money will be used to hire a new officer that is solely focused on catching drivers who are under the influence.

CONTINUE READING AND VIDEO!

My comment:

So this is legalization?  …and freedom to use recreational Cannabis? ….

The Government effectively owns your body and your mind.  You have absolutely no privacy.  Even if a crime has not been committed you are guilty until you can manage to prove yourself not guilty….Just think what this could lead to….in effect already has.  Blood testing is really not a new thing…to prove intoxication.

LEGALIZE = LEGAL LIES…

BEWARE OF NEW “LEGALIZATION” LAWS…THEY ARE NOT OUT TO GIVE YOU FREEDOM – THEY ARE OUT TO CONTROL YOU AND CAGE YOU!

sk

NORML, Feds Agree On Benefits Of Cannabis

By: Jeremy Daw

NORML, Feds Agree On Benefits Of Cannabis, Source: http://www.tokeofthetown.com/800px-Colorado_Supreme_Court_courtroom.jpg

The third day of hearings on the constitutionality of cannabis’ federal Schedule I status presented further bizarre twists, as both federal prosecutors and NORML’s defense team appeared at times to agree on the medical benefits of cannabis.

In one early incident, Assistant US Attorney Richard Bender, in continued cross-examination of Dr. Philip Denney, failed to rebut Denney’s testimony that plant-based cannabis effectively treated chronic pain. Instead, Bender attempted to show a marginal benefit to using dronabinol (AKA Marinol, which is synthetic THC taken orally in pill form) compared to cannabis and at one point seemed to get a little carried away with his line of questioning. Directing Denney’s attention to the results of a study which showed that both cannabis and Marinol proved effective in treating chronic pain but that the effects of Marinol lasted longer, Bender asked, “So, both smoked marijuana and oral THC were effective, but Marinol was a little better because it lasted longer?”

Denney answered yes, and Bender continued, apparently unaware that he had just admitted that cannabis has medical value.

Later in the same cross-examination Bender slipped again, making a similar admission in a more humorous way. Asking Denney about research showing the ability of cannabinoids to protect brain cells from damage during traumatic injuries, Bender asked, in a somewhat mocking tone, “So, if you’re going to have a traumatic brain injury, you’d better do it under the influence of marijuana?” Denney responded with an emphatic “yes,” provoking laughter in the courtroom.

But perhaps the greatest damage to the government’s case came as a result of an apparent lapse of attention on the part of the prosecution. NORML attorney Zenia Gilg managed to elicit numerous responses from Denney on the nature of the US government’s Investigative New Drug (IND) program, under which US patients receive free tins of government-grown cannabis every month to treat severe illnesses, before Bender seemed to stir, stand and state a valid objection.

It was apparently too late. Calling the objection “belated,” Judge Kimberly Mueller overruled it.

This blunder proved crippling for the prosecution, as Gilg was then able to elicit further testimony from Denney about the IND program, and in particular the results of a study conducted by Dr. Ethan Russo and others in 2002 which showed remarkable long-term success treating severely ill patients who had proven resistant to traditional therapies, and with a minimum of undesirable side effects – all at the behest of the US government.

Because the hearing also concerns the question of whether the medical use of cannabis is “currently accepted” in the US, Denney also testified regarding polls conducted of physicians about their professional opinions of cannabis. While Bender quibbled over details of a poll by the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine showing 76% approval of a medical marijuana recommendation in a hypothetical patient, he left entirely uncontested testimony about another physician poll conducted by WebMD which showed 69% support for the medical use of cannabis – again apparently conceding a point which is logically central to the question of whether cannabis belongs in Schedule I.

Leaf co-founder Chris Conrad also took the stand as an expert witness, cross-examined by prosecutor Samuel Wong, who attempted to contradict the notions that cannabis had a known and reproducible chemistry and that it could be subjected to quality controls. Evoking the use of pesticides and other chemicals, Wong tried to suggest that use of such chemicals would lead to cannabis patients inhaling toxic substances. But Conrad pointed out that that was not necessarily the case, as many such sprays were designed to break down over time. Wong erred even worse when he tried to imply that quality control standards for cannabis didn’t exist, which opened the door for Conrad to introduce the medical cannabis quality control standards recommended by the American Herbal Pharmacopeia.

Still, it was ultimately Dr. Denney who most succinctly summarized the tenor of the day. “I am perplexed,” he testified, “as to why there’s even a debate. Cannabis does have medical value.”

CONTINUE READING…

Pot oil “miracle in a bottle” cure could land mom in jail

VIDEO HERE

 

In March, one mother traveled to Colorado

to get a bottle of cannabis oil in hopes of easing the agonizing pain her 15-year-old son has lived with for the past three years.

What she calls a mother’s instinct may land her in jail, reports CBS News correspondent Adriana Diaz.

"I broke the law, but I did it to save my son," Angela Brown said.

For years, the Minnesota mom searched for a way to end her son’s chronic pain.

Trey appeared healthy, but a baseball accident in 2011 led to a build-up of pressure inside his head.

A line drive to Trey’s head caused bleeding in an area of his brain the size of a golf ball. Doctors feared he wouldn’t survive.

But when he finally woke from a medically induced coma, his mother said the old Trey was gone.

"He’s the shell of himself," Angela said. "He’s in so much pain, and that causes depression."

With depression came daily migraines, muscle spasms and uncontrollable outbursts.

"I cry like every day before I go to bed," Trey said.

And the pain is intense.

"Like my brain is about to blow up, cause there is so much pressure," he said.

To try to ease his pain, Trey’s parents tried 18 different medications, but little helped. Angela believes some of the drugs’ side effects even made her son suicidal.

"He told me, ‘mom, I don’t want to live, I can’t do this anymore,’" Angela said. "It’s not fair, it’s not fair. I have been so angry."

But through out it all, she’s tried to be as positive as possible.

"People keep saying, ‘Oh you’re so strong,’" she said. "No I’m not! I begged him and I said, ‘We will find an answer.’"

Desperate, she began researching the benefits of medical marijuana. The family drove to Colorado and obtained a bottle of cannabis oil. It’s legal there, but not in Minnesota.

Angela said after a few drops, Trey’s pain melted away.

"It was a miracle in a bottle," she said.

But the miracle didn’t last.

"It stopped the pain and stopped the muscle spasms," Trey said. "It was helping me go to school until it then got taken away and then school was really hard again."

It was taken away when his teachers asked why he was doing better in school.

"I said ‘Well, I gave him an oil that we’d gotten from Colorado,’" Angela recalled. "’It’s derived from a marijuana plant.’ And then you could feel the tension in the room."

A week later, the sheriff’s department confiscated the oil and county prosecutors charged Angela with child endangerment and requiring child protection. If convicted, she could face up two years in prison and $6,000 in fines.

"It’s asinine," Angela said. "I didn’t hurt my son; I was trying to prevent him from being hurt."

While she recognizes the substance is illegal in Minnesota, she defended herself saying it’s "not illegal in other states."

CBS News reached out to the county prosecutor, law enforcement and Trey’s school district.

All declined requests for an interview citing the on going case.

If Angela does go to jail, she fears most for her children.

"Who would take care of my kids?" she asked. "My boys are mama’s boys."

As much as they need her, she admitted she needs them just the same.

In May, Minnesota became the 22nd state to approve specific forms of medicinal marijuana. But the law doesn’t go into effect until next year.

The Browns said they can’t afford to wait.

Medical Marijuana Research Hits Wall of U.S. Law

By SERGE F. KOVALESKIAUG. 9, 2014

    Above: Suman Chandra checking marijuana plants at a federal marijuana facility at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. Credit Lance Murphey for The New York Times

    Nearly four years ago, Dr. Sue Sisley, a psychiatrist at the University of Arizona, sought federal approval to study marijuana’s effectiveness in treating military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. She had no idea how difficult it would be.

    The proposal, which has the support of veterans groups, was hung up at several regulatory stages, requiring the research’s private sponsor to resubmit multiple times. After the proposed study received final approval in March from federal health officials, the lone federal supplier of research marijuana said it did not have the strains the study needed and would have to grow more — potentially delaying the project until at least early next year.

    Then, in June, the university fired Dr. Sisley, later citing funding and reorganization issues. But Dr. Sisley is convinced the real reason was her outspoken support for marijuana research.

    “They could never get comfortable with the idea of this controversial, high-profile research happening on campus,” she said.

    Dr. Sue Sisley said the University of Arizona had fired her because of her outspoken support for marijuana research. Credit Laura Segall for The New York Times

    Dr. Sisley’s case is an extreme example of the obstacles and frustrations scientists face in trying to study the medical uses of marijuana. Dating back to 1999, the Department of Health and Human Services has indicated it does not see much potential for developing marijuana in smoked form into an approved prescription drug. In guidelines issued that year for research on medical marijuana, the agency quoted from an accompanying report that stated, “If there is any future for marijuana as a medicine, it lies in its isolated components, the cannabinoids and their synthetic derivatives.”

    Scientists say this position has had a chilling effect on marijuana research.

    Though more than one million people are thought to use the drug to treat ailments ranging from cancer to seizures to hepatitis C and chronic pain, there are few rigorous studies showing whether the drug is a fruitful treatment for those or any other conditions.

    A major reason is this: The federal government categorizes marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, the most restrictive of five groups established by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Drugs in this category — including heroin, LSD, peyote and Ecstasy — are considered to have no accepted medical use in the United States and a high potential for abuse, and are subject to tight restrictions on scientific study.

    CONTINUE READING ON NYT…

    Study: Arrests For Marijuana Offenses Increasing In Many States –

    by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director July 30, 2014

     

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    Law enforcement in many states are making a greater number of marijuana arrests than ever before despite polling data showing that the majority of Americans believe that the adult use of the plant ought to be legal.

    According to a just published report, “Marijuana in the States 2012: Analysis and Detailed Data on Marijuana Use and Arrests,” which appears on the newly launched RegulatingCannabis.com website, police made an estimated 750,000 arrests for marijuana violations in 2012 – a 110 percent increase in annual arrests since 1991. Yet, despite this doubling in annual marijuana arrests over the past two decades, there has not been any significant reduction in marijuana consumption in the United States the report found.

    In 2012, marijuana arrests accounted for almost half (48.3 percent) of all drug arrests nationwide. Marijuana arrests accounted for two-thirds of more of all drug arrests in five states: Nebraska (74.1 percent), New Hampshire (72 percent), Montana (70.3 percent), Wyoming (68.7 percent) and Wisconsin (67.1 percent).

    From 2008 to 2012, seventeen state-level jurisdictions experienced an average annual increase in marijuana arrests, the report found. South Carolina (11.6 percent) and the District of Columbia (7.7 percent) experienced the highest overall percentage increase in arrests during this time period. By contrast, annual marijuana arrests fell nationwide by an average of 3.3 percent from 2008 to 2012.

    Overall, the study reported that the five state-level jurisdictions possessing the highest arrest rates for marijuana offenses are the District to Columbia (729 arrests per 100,000 citizens), New York (577), Louisiana (451), Illinois (447) and Nebraska (421). District of Columbia lawmakers decriminalized the adult possession of marijuana earlier this month.

    The two states possessing the lowest marijuana arrest rates are California and Massachusetts, the report found. Both states decriminalized marijuana possession offenses in recent years.

    Stated the report’s author, Shenondoah University professor Jon Gettman, “After a generation of marijuana arrests, nearly 19 million and counting since 1981, the results are that marijuana remains widely used, not perceived as risky by a majority of the population, and widely available. The tremendous variance in use and arrests at the state level demonstrate why marijuana prohibition has failed and is not a viable national policy.”

    Full text of the report is available on the NORML website here or from: RegulatingCannabis.com.

    – See more at: http://blog.norml.org/2014/07/30/study-arrests-for-marijuana-offenses-increasing-in-many-states/#sthash.l9sfun7e.MOcw3eNJ.dpuf

    The Required White House Response on Marijuana

     

     

     

    By David Firestone, New York Times – Tuesday, July 29 2014

    When the White House issued a statement last night saying that marijuana should remain illegal — responding to our pro-legalization editorial series — officials there weren’t just expressing an opinion. They were following the law. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is required by statute to oppose all efforts to legalize any banned drug.

    It’s one of the most anti-scientific, know-nothing provisions in any federal law, but it remains an active imposition on every White House. The “drug czar,” as the director of the drug control policy office is informally known, must “take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance” that’s listed on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act and has no “approved” medical use.

    Marijuana fits that description, as do heroin and LSD. But unlike those far more dangerous drugs, marijuana has medical benefits that are widely known and are now officially recognized in 35 states. The drug czar, though, isn’t allowed to recognize them, and whenever any member of Congress tries to change that, the White House office is required to stand up and block the effort. It cannot allow any federal study that might demonstrate the rapidly changing medical consensus on marijuana’s benefits and its relative lack of harm compared to alcohol and tobacco.

    “It’s a complete Catch-22,” said Representative Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee, who has introduced legislation to change the requirement. “They should be giving Congress and the American people the benefit of the latest research, and yet by statute, they’re prohibited from doing so. They have no choice but to say they’re against it. Joseph Heller should be working there.”

    – Read the entire article at New York Times.

    SOURCE: Cannabis Culture

     

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    http://kentuckymarijuanaparty.wordpress.com/2014/07/27/nyt-repeal-prohibition-again/

    http://kentuckymarijuanaparty.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/response-to-the-new-york-times-editorial-boards-call-for-federal-marijuana-legalization/

    Response to The New York Times Editorial Board’s Call for Federal Marijuana Legalization

     

     

    Posted by ONDCP Staff on July 28, 2014 at 06:40 PM EDT

    The New York Times editorial board opined in its Sunday July 27, 2014 edition that the Federal government should legalize marijuana for adults aged 21 years and older. The New York Times editorial board compares Federal marijuana policy to the failure of alcohol prohibition and advocates for legalization based on the harm inflicted on young African American men who become involved in the criminal justice system as a result of marijuana possession charges. We agree that the criminal justice system is in need of reform and that disproportionality exists throughout the system.  However, marijuana legalization is not the silver bullet solution to the issue.

    In its argument, The New York Times editorial team failed to mention a cascade of public health problems associated with the increased availability of marijuana. While law enforcement will always play an important role in combating violent crime associated with the drug trade, the Obama Administration approaches substance use as a public health issue, not merely a criminal justice problem.

    The editorial ignores the science and fails to address public health problems associated with increased marijuana use. Here are the facts:

    • Marijuana use affects the developing brain. A recent study in Brain reveals impairment of the development of structures in some regions of the brain following prolonged marijuana use that began in adolescence or young adulthood.[1] Marijuana use is associated with cognitive impairment, including lower IQ among adult chronic users who began using marijuana at an early age.[2]
    • Substance use in school age children has a detrimental effect on their academic achievement. Students who received earned D’s or F’s were more likely to be current users of marijuana than those who earned A’s (45% vs. 10%).[3]
    • Marijuana is addictive. Estimates from research suggest that about 9 percent of users become addicted to marijuana. This number increases to about 17 percent among those who start young and to 25-50 percent among people who use marijuana daily.[4]
    • Drugged driving is a threat to our roadways. Marijuana significantly impairs coordination and reaction time and is the illicit drug most frequently found to be involved in automobile accidents, including fatal ones.[5]

    The editors of The New York Times may have valid concerns about disproportionality throughout our criminal justice system.  But we as policy makers cannot ignore the basic scientific fact that marijuana is addictive and marijuana use has harmful consequences.  Increased consumption leads to higher public health and financial costs for society. Addictive substances like alcohol and tobacco, which are legal and taxed, already result in much higher social costs than the revenue they generate. The cost to society of alcohol alone is estimated to be more than 15 times the revenue gained by its taxation.[6] For this reason, the Obama Administration and the Office of National Drug Control Policy remain committed to drug use prevention, treatment, support for recovery, and innovative criminal justice strategies to break the cycle of drug use and associated crime. This approach is helping improve public health and safety in communities across the United States.

    Research also indicates that policies making drugs more available would likely not eliminate the black market or improve public health and safety, as promoted by marijuana advocates. Reports from the nonpartisan RAND Institute found that the potential economic benefits from legalization had been overstated, citing that:

    • Marijuana legalization would not eliminate the black market for marijuana.[7]
    • Dramatically lowered prices could mean substantially lower potential tax revenue for states.[8]

    We are also keeping a close eye on the states of Washington and Colorado in conformance with the directive provided by the Attorney General in August 2013.

    Any discussion on the issue should be guided by science and evidence, not ideology and wishful thinking. The Obama Administration continues to oppose legalization of marijuana and other illegal drugs because it flies in the face of a public health approach to reducing drug use and its consequences. Our approach is founded on the understanding of addiction as a disease that can be successfully prevented and treated, and from which people can recover. We will continue to focus on genuine drug policy reform – a strategy that rejects extremes, and promotes expanded access to treatment, evidence-based prevention efforts, and alternatives to incarceration.


    [1] Zalesky A, et al. 2012. Effect of long-term cannabis use on axonal fibre connectivity. Brain: A Journal of Neurology. 135 (7): 2245-2255. Available at http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/content/135/7/2245.full.pdf+html

    [2] Meier et al., “Adolescent-onset cannabis and neuropsychological health.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  

    [August 27, 2012]. Available: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/08/22/1206820109

    [3] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services. Alcohol and Other Drug Use and Academic Achievement. 2010. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/health_and_academics/pdf/alcohol_other_d…

    [4] Anthony, JC; Warner, LA, Kessler, RC.  1994.  Comparative epidemiology of dependence on tobacco, alcohol, controlled substances, and inhalants: Basic findings from the National Comorbidity Survey.  Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2:244-268.

    [5] Brady JE, Li G (2014) Trends in Alcohol and Other Drugs Detected in Fatally Injured Drivers in the United States, 199-2010,” American Journal of Epidemiology [Epub ahead of print].

    [6] Ellen E. Bouchery, Henrick J. Harwood, Jeffrey J. Sacks, Carol J. Simon, Robert D. Brewer. Economic Costs of

    Excessive Alcohol Consumption in the U.S., 2006. American Journal of Preventive Medicine – November 2011

    (Vol. 41, Issue 5, Pages 516-524, DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2011.06.045). Available:

    http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(11)00538-1/fulltext xiii Kilmer, Beau, et al., Reducing Drug Trafficking Revenues and Viol

    [7] Kilmer, Beau, et al., Reducing Drug Trafficking Revenues and Violence in Mexico: Would Legalizing Marijuana

    in California Help? RAND Corporation. [2010]. Available:

    http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/occasional_papers/2010/RAND_OP…

    [8] Kilmer, Beau, et al., Altered States? Assessing How Marijuana Legalization in California Could Influence

    Marijuana Consumption and Public Budgets. RAND Corporation. [2010]. Available:

    http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/occasional_papers/2010/RAND_OP…

    CONTINUE READING…

    Colorado attorney general backs firing of medical-marijuana patient

    By John Ingold
    The Denver Post

    The state attorney general’s office says Coloradans do not have a right to use marijuana off-the-job, siding with a satellite television company in its firing of a medical-marijuana patient.

    In a brief filed with the state Supreme Court last month, the Colorado attorney general’s office argues that giving workers a right to use marijuana off-duty "would have a profound and detrimental impact on employers in the state."

    "Contrary to popular perception, Colorado has not simply legalized marijuana for medical and recreational purposes," state attorneys write in the brief. "Instead, its citizens have adopted narrowly drawn constitutional amendments that decriminalize small amounts of marijuana."

    The Colorado Court of Appeals — the state’s second-highest court — last year upheld Dish Network’s firing of a quadriplegic medical-marijuana patient for a positive drug test. Though there is no allegation that Brandon Coats was stoned at work, the company said it has a zero-tolerance policy on marijuana.

    Coats say his off-the-job marijuana use should be protected by Colorado’s Lawful Off-Duty Activities Statute, which prevents companies from firing employees for doing things outside of work — like smoking cigarettes — that are legal. Dish Network argues that marijuana use can’t be considered lawful while cannabis remains illegal federally.

    In its brief supporting Dish Network, the state attorney general’s office says zero-tolerance policies ensure that employees are able to perform their jobs competently. Requiring employers to prove that workers are stoned on the job before they can be fired would require companies to conduct "intrusive investigations into the personal life of an employee."

    "Simply put, zero tolerance policies provide businesses with an efficient means of avoiding difficult employment decisions and even litigation," the attorney general’s brief states.

    Coats’ case is the first time Colorado’s highest court has taken up questions about the scope of marijuana legalization in the state, and it has drawn at least six outside groups filing briefs in support of either Coats or Dish.

    The Colorado Mining Association, the Colorado Defense Lawyers Association and the Colorado Civil Justice League — which claims an allegiance with several businesses and groups including the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce — have filed briefs on behalf of Dish. The Colorado Plaintiff Employment Lawyers Association and the Patient and Caregivers Rights Litigation Project have filed briefs supporting Coats.

    The Supreme Court has not yet announced when it will hear the case.

    John Ingold: 303-954-1068, jingold@denverpost.com or twitter.com/john_ingold

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