In Oregon and Denver, where marijuana is legal for recreational use,
activists are now pushing toward a psychedelic frontier: "magic mushrooms."
Groups in both states are sponsoring ballot measures that would
eliminate criminal penalties for possession of the mushrooms whose
active ingredient, psilocybin, can cause hallucinations, euphoria and
changes in perception. They point to research showing that psilocybin
might be helpful for people suffering from depression or anxiety.
"We don't want individuals to lose their freedom over something that's
natural and has health benefits," said Kevin Matthews, the campaign
director of Denver for Psilocybin, the group working to decriminalize
magic mushrooms in Colorado's capital.
[continues 936 words]
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a longtime opponent of legalizing recreational
marijuana, now says the federal government should not interfere in
California's legal marijuana market.
In comments to McClatchy Tuesday -- in the middle of a 2018 campaign
for her seat in a state that has settled into the legal pot market --
the California Democrat said she was open to considering federal
protection for state-legalized marijuana.
Feinstein's office said her views changed after meetings with
constituents, particularly those with young children who have
benefited from medical marijuana use.
[continues 968 words]
America's marijuana supporters have a lot to celebrate on this 420
holiday : Thirty states have legalized some form of medical marijuana,
according to a national advocacy group.
Nine of those states and Washington, D.C., also have broad
legalization where adults 21 and older can use pot for any reason.
Michigan could become the 10th state with its ballot initiative this
Yet cannabis remains illegal under federal law, and it still has many
Here's a look at what some advocates and critics have to say about the
state of marijuana in the U.S. today:
[continues 2321 words]
Rep. Jim Neely has seen firsthand how a terminal illness like cancer
ravages the body.
His own daughter died from cancer three years ago. With a background
in health care working as a physician and managing a hospice agency,
Neely, R-Cameron, knows the importance of patients receiving comfort.
That's why he's sponsoring a bill that would legalize medical
marijuana in a smokeless form for Missourians with terminal illnesses.
"It's for people who are terminal to gain access for comfort," Neely
said. "This seems to me aE& as a good way to get started and seeing if
there are some benefits."
[continues 1242 words]
An Inland church that uses marijuana to worship is embroiled in a
bitter dispute with Jurupa Valley, which alleges the Vault Church of
Open Faith is primarily a pot store and has been trying to shut it
down for more than a year.
An association representing the church and about 15 others like it
fired back Friday, April 13, filing a claim against the city seeking
$1.2 million in damages and alleging harassment and discrimination.
Church leaders say they smoke marijuana or eat edibles as part of
spiritual meditation as a religious sacrament, but city officials say
they're using religion as a front for selling pot.
[continues 887 words]
SALT LAKE CITY -- The push for legalized marijuana has moved into Utah
and Oklahoma, two of the most conservative states in the country,
further underscoring how quickly feelings about marijuana are changing
in the United States.
If the two measures pass, Utah and Oklahoma will join 30 other states
that have legalized some form of medical marijuana, according to the
pro-pot National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana laws. Nine
of those states and Washington, D.C. also have broad legalization
where adults 21 and older can use pot for any reason. Michigan could
become the 10th state with its ballot initiative this year.
[continues 790 words]
Since last month's release of revised regulations for adult
recreational marijuana use, municipalities are heading to town
meetings this spring to decide whether to ban or allow marijuana
establishments and ways to regulate them.
Shrewsbury, Sutton, Grafton, Northboro, Northbridge and Douglas are
among the Central Massachusetts communities that will deal with
marijuana issues at town meetings in April and May. Northboro may be
the only community that has an article that seeks to ban not only
recreational marijuana, but also medical marijuana
[continues 1017 words]
On Monday, the finance, revenue and bonding committee became the
fourth panel to hold a public hearing on recreational marijuana this
legislative session. This time, on a bill that focuses on the taxation
of marijuana and marijuana products sold in the state should they be
The bill, H.B. 5582, would allow Connecticut to tax marijuana and
marijuana products on and after the date marijuana is legalized,
though this year legalization is unlikely as one key committee has
already rejected the measure and another will not be voting on the
[continues 574 words]
The Riverside City Council voted Tuesday, March 27, to have staff
members prepare an expansive ban on marijuana-related activities.
The ban, which must be approved as a city ordinance before it takes
effect, would replace Riverside's current moratorium that temporarily
bans most marijuana business.
Councilman Chuck Conder proposed the ban, which would prohibit the
retail and commercial sale, commercial cultivation, distribution, and
outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana plants. He did so after a
delegation of city officials who traveled to Denver, including Conder
himself, gave a three-hour presentation on the effects of marijuana
[continues 469 words]
OAKLAND, Calif. - When officers burst into Rickey McCullough's
two-story home in Oakland a decade ago they noted a "strong fresh odor
of marijuana." Mr. McCullough had been growing large amounts of
marijuana illegally, the police said. He was arrested and spent a
month in jail.
A few weeks ago the city of Oakland, now promoting itself as a hub for
marijuana entrepreneurs, awarded Mr. McCullough, 33, a license to sell
marijuana and the prospect of interest-free loans.
Four hundred miles to the south, in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton,
Virgil Grant, 50, straddles the same two worlds, but with a different
outcome. He was a marijuana dealer in the 1990s whose customers are
said to have included rap stars like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac,
and he spent more than eight years in prison on marijuana convictions.
But his vision of starting a marijuana dispensary in his hometown was
dashed in January when the residents of Compton voted decisively to
ban marijuana businesses from city limits.
[continues 1415 words]
Joe Redner, Tampa's outspoken strip club owner and lung cancer
patient, is confident he'll be able to legally grow his own marijuana
plants soon, after stating his case in trial before a state circuit
court judge on Wednesday.
Redner, 77, made his case against the Florida Department of Health in
a Tallahassee courtroom Wednesday on why he has a constitutional right
to grow his own marijuana plants. Leon County Circuit Judge Karen
Gievers is expected to rule on the case next week.
[continues 613 words]
Marijuana companies will be banned from a majority of cities and towns
in Massachusetts when recreational sales begin this summer, a Globe
review has found, the latest indication that there will be fewer pot
stores in the early going than many consumers expected.
At least 189 of the state's 351 municipalities have barred retail
marijuana stores and, in most cases, cultivation facilities and other
cannabis operations, too, according to local news reports, municipal
records, and data collected by the office of Attorney General Maura
[continues 1220 words]
FRANKFORT -- Kentucky lawmakers shelved Wednesday a controversial bill
to legalize medical marijuana, but supporters of the measure pledged to
continue their fight.
Some backers of House Bill 166 were in tears after the House Judiciary
Committee voted 14-4 to "pass over" the measure. That's a procedure to
put off voting on the bill until a later date.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. John Sims, D-Flemingsburg, said it's doubtful
the proposal will be revisited in this year's legislative session but
"anything is possible."
[continues 357 words]
The state Senate on Thursday voted to ask on the November ballot
whether recreational use of marijuana should be legalized and taxed in
The ballot question would be only advisory, so even if voters approve,
lawmakers still would have to act.
Sponsoring Sen. Bill Cunningham, D-Chicago, said it is important to
poll the public because some lawmakers are already working to legalize
recreational marijuana use for people over 21. He noted that in most
states that allow recreational use, it was done by voters expressing
support in the ballot box.
[continues 305 words]
Pot is hot for Maryland lawmakers in Annapolis this year.
The General Assembly is considering more than two dozen bills on
marijuana -- or cannabis, as the substance is called when used as a
For marijuana enthusiasts, full legalization for recreational purposes
is at the top of the wish list. Bills in both the House and the Senate
would put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to let
voters decide whether to replace prohibition with a system of
regulated sales and taxation.
[continues 767 words]
There isn't a better reader of the tea lives in Annapolis than Senate
President Thomas V. Mike Miller. He's been saying for a couple of
years now that legalization of recreational marijuana in Maryland --
something that seemed like a far-out idea when former Del. Heather
Mizeur made it a central plank of her 2014 gubernatorial campaign --
is inevitable. We're inclined to believe him. Public attitudes on the
drug have shifted rapidly in recent years, and it is now legal for
recreational use in nine states and (sort of) Washington, D.C. The
most recent polls on the issue report that about 60 percent of
Maryland voters support legalization. At least four of the seven
Democrats running to unseat Gov. Larry Hogan have voiced support for
some form of it. But legalization still may not happen as fast as
proponents might like.
[continues 713 words]
Illinois voters could get a say whether the state should legalize
recreational marijuana if lawmakers decide to put the question on
A state Senate committee advanced the idea on Wednesday, but a ballot
question would be non-binding. That means it would work like a
statewide public opinion poll and wouldn't legalize marijuana even if
a majority of voters approve. Lawmakers who want to legalize the drug
could get a political boost, though, if voters favor it.
State Sen. Bill Cunningham, D-Chicago, said putting the matter to a
vote would "bring the public into the debate" and "give them an
opportunity to register their opinion" as lawmakers debate the idea in
[continues 303 words]
Political pressure on the state Cannabis Control Commission
intensified Thursday, as Attorney General Maura Healey and 78 state
legislators joined Governor Charlie Baker in pressing the independent
agency to roll out a more limited recreational marijuana industry this
In letters sent at the close of a public comment period on the
commission's draft rules for pot companies, Healey and the lawmakers
urged cannabis regulators to delay their provisional plans to license
marijuana cafes, delivery services that don't also operate a physical
storefront, and "mixed-use" businesses such as art galleries and
theaters that want to sell cannabis on the side.
[continues 450 words]
Berkeley may be the first city to declare itself a cannabis sanctuary
city. A customer shops at marijuana dispensary MedMen in West
Hollywood in January. (Christina House / Los Angeles Times)
The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously to declare the city a
sanctuary for recreational marijuana, a move that may be the first of
The resolution, adopted Tuesday, prohibits Berkeley's agencies and
employees from using city resources to assist in enforcing federal
marijuana laws or providing information on legal cannabis activities.
[continues 367 words]
The Baker administration chastised Massachusetts pot regulators this
week, saying their draft plan to create one of the world's most
permissive regulated marijuana markets goes too far, too fast.
The Baker administration chastised Massachusetts pot regulators this
week, saying their draft plan to create one of the world's most
permissive regulated marijuana markets goes too far, too fast.
In a letter to the Cannabis Control Commission dated Monday , the
governor's office warned the independent agency that it had reached
beyond the core mandate of the state's marijuana legalization law by
proposing the licensure of businesses not seen in other states'
recreational markets: sit-and-get-high cafes, pot delivery services
not tied to dispensaries, and even movie theaters that want to offer
patrons cannabis-laced snacks.
[continues 921 words]
A public hearing on Whitman's proposed ban of recreational marijuana
sales will be held before the Planning Board on Feb. 12.
To take effect, the ban requires approval at a special town election,
which has been set for March 17, and approval at a special Town
Meeting. A date for the Town Meeting has not yet been set, according
to Town Administrator Frank Lynam.
The town voted in favor of the 2016 statewide ballot question
legalizing recreational marijuana, but Lynam said these votes test the
will of residents on whether they want non-medical retail sales within
"This is the community's opportunity to say yes or no here," he
For Jack in the Box Inc., the warm smell of marijuana is rising in the
As California prepares for legal recreational pot on Jan. 1, the
fast-food chain is partnering with a digital media company backed by
rapper Snoop Dogg on a new "munchie" meal aimed at cannabis
enthusiasts. While marijuana's connection to fast food is
well-established, Jack in the Box will become the first national chain
to explicitly embrace the drug.
The "Merry Munchie Meal," which will be available at three California
locations for a week in January for $4.20, features two tacos, french
fries, onion rings, five mini churros, three chicken strips and a
small drink. The price isn't random: The number 420 is used as a code
[continues 283 words]
At the two malls in town you can buy key chains and Christmas
ornaments shaped like marijuana leaves. Along a downtown shopping
corridor, paintings of cannabis plants grace storefront windows.
Even Kmart stocks its shelves with T-shirts and mugs decorated with
the signature green leaf and "Colorado est. 2012" -- the year the
state legalized recreational marijuana.
But that is the one pot product you can't buy in Colorado Springs.
When Coloradans voted overwhelmingly to make non-medical marijuana
legal, they left it up to cities whether to allow sales. Colorado
Springs, home to five military bases and known for its conservative
politics and religious values, blocked recreational cannabis sales.
Now some in town want to change that, saying the state's second
largest city is missing out on sales taxes that are enriching cities
[continues 1017 words]
COLUMBUS - One day after Ohio announced its choices for larger growing
sites that would fuel a fledgling medical marijuana industry, a legal
challenge was announced that could throw a wrench into the works.
Ironically, such a lawsuit would be filed by some of the chief players
behind 2015's failed ResponsibleOhio ballot initiative that would have
legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational use.
"Whether we end up with a license or we don't end up with a license,
that's not what this is about..." said Jimmy Gould, chairman and chief
executive of CannAscend Ohio. "I care that this process is broken. I
care that there should have been better oversight over this process,
and I care where this ends up....
[continues 578 words]
The Garden State could soon become a bit more green.
Proponents of legalized marijuana in New Jersey are lining up in the
aftermath of Phil Murphy's election as governor, anticipating
no-questions-asked pot sales to adults by late next year with an ally
in the governor's office.
Murphy has named the head of a marijuana trade group as his chief of
staff, and a new association for marijuana retailers has formed. The
governor-elect vowed during his campaign to legalize the drug, and the
growing industry is counting on him to quickly make good on the pledge.
[continues 990 words]
LAS VEGAS -- For Hilary Dulany, long roots in Michigan and the
prospect of expanding her Oregon marijuana business are luring her
back to the Great Lakes State.
For Nancy Whiteman, the prospect of taking her business national has
her looking for partners in Michigan.
For the two women and many other entrepreneurs attending the MJ Biz
Conference in Las Vegas last week -- the pre-eminent conference where
18,500 professionals looking to get into the cannabis industry
gathered -- the common thread was Michigan's soon-to-explode marijuana
[continues 1137 words]
Stateline, a project of the Pew Charitable Trusts, provides daily
reporting and analysis on trends in state policy.
When Californians voted to legalize marijuana last year, they also
voted to let people petition courts to reduce or hide convictions for
past marijuana crimes. State residents can now petition courts to
change some felonies to misdemeanors, change some misdemeanors to
infractions, and wipe away convictions for possessing or growing small
amounts of the drug.
"We call it reparative justice: repairing the harms caused by the war
on drugs," says Eunisses Hernandez of the Drug Policy Alliance, a
nonprofit advocacy group that helped write the California ballot initiative.
[continues 1219 words]
Demonized for decades, marijuana remains controversial even on the
brink of its statewide legalization - and even in pot-friendly
strongholds such as San Francisco. The city is one of many still
debating local regulations that will either embrace an overdue retreat
from the drug war or effectively prolong the failed policy at the
For vacillating municipal officials, some context is in order. This
week alone, New Jersey and Virginia voters resoundingly elected
gubernatorial candidates promising to liberalize marijuana policy;
Constellation Brands, a Fortune 500 seller of many popular wine and
beer brands, was reported to have bought a nearly $200 million stake
in a Canadian cannabis company; and California's attorney general
approved signature-gathering for a ballot measure to legalize
[continues 272 words]
A citizens committee in Colton has launched an initiative to regulate
and tax local cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and distribution in
order to generate millions of dollars in revenue for law enforcement,
schools and public safety programs.
The Committee for Safer Neighborhoods and Schools recently filed its
proposed marijuana ordinance with the city and will soon begin
gathering signatures for placement on the 2018 ballot.
Meanwhile, the Colton City Council awaits a drafted ordinance of
potential regulations recommended by a committee of city leaders and
[continues 531 words]
Can you be fired in Michigan for using medical marijuana?
Joseph Casias injured his knee at the Battle Creek Wal-Mart where he
worked in 2009.
Per company policy, he took a drug test. It came back positive.
Casias had been using marijuana at home to treat pain from sinus
cancer and an inoperable brain tumor.
The American Civil Liberties Union sued on his behalf for wrongful
discharge in violation of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.
A U.S. District Judge sided with the company. The U.S. Sixth Circuit
Court of Appeals later upheld the ruling.
[continues 1250 words]
Nine years after Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved an initiative
that permits doctors to prescribe marijuana for therapeutic purposes,
state and local lawmakers are still struggling to design a regulatory
scheme that balances the interests of patients, providers and residents.
Earlier this year, Michigan legislators finally adopted a new regime
that establishes distinct licensing criteria for growing, processing,
testing, transporting and distributing the drug, which is still
forbidden by federal law, and dividing the tax revenues generated by
those activities between the state and local governments.
[continues 630 words]
Organizers of the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition say
they expect more than 2,000 people at the event Thursday and Friday at
the John B. Hynes Convention Center in Boston.
It's the first time this particular exposition has come to town. The
organizers also held events this year in New York and Los Angeles.
"We are planting our flag here," said Dan Humiston, an organizer of
"We anticipate the New England area is going to be the next big market
for the industry. All the tea leaves say this part of the country will
[continues 470 words]
People eager to start buying recreational marijuana from shops in San
Francisco when sales become legal throughout the state in January are
going to have to wait a little longer.
The city won't issue permits to sell recreational marijuana until it
passes new laws to regulate the industry and creates an equity program
to help low-income entrepreneurs, people of color, and former drug
offenders break into the market.
According to Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, who introduced an ordinance with
proposed regulations at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting, city
officials still have no idea what that program will look like or how
it will operate.
[continues 553 words]
The medical marijuana business is expected to explode next year when
the state begins to hand out licenses, and rules released Thursday by
the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs could prove to be
even more profitable for some budding marijuana entrepreneurs.
LARA said in an advisory that one person could apply for three of the
licenses -- grower, processor and dispensary -- and locate all of
those businesses in one facility.
"It's something that we've had a lot of inquiries about," said David
Harns, spokesman for LARA, as people looking to get involved in the
medical pot business get ready for Dec. 15, when applications for
licenses will become available from the state.
[continues 434 words]
Just a couple of years ago, discussions of how to deal with marijuana
in the Inland Empire were limited. Now, several Inland jurisdictions
are considering opening up to marijuana businesses, an overdue
development given the failure of prohibition and the anticipated
availability of commercial sales of marijuana in 2018.
Late last month, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted to
move forward with plans to draft regulations for marijuana businesses
in the county's unincorporated areas. The move came after an ad-hoc
committee of Supervisors Kevin Jeffries and Chuck Washington concluded
that regulating and taxing marijuana "would enable the County to
better manage an already growing and uncontrolled industry," as
opposed to simply banning marijuana.
[continues 244 words]
The Boston Freedom Rally was on Boston Common on Saturday.
Thousands of people are expected to flock to Boston Common this
weekend for the 28th annual Boston Freedom Rally - the first time the
marijuana festival has been held since voters approved a ballot
referendum last November legalizing the drug for recreational use.
As of Saturday morning, about 7,400 people indicated on Facebook that
they plan to go to the rally, organized by the Massachusetts Cannabis
The festival, which began Friday, is scheduled to be held from noon to
8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday according to its Facebook page.
[continues 126 words]
Two initiatives that would amend Detroit's medical marijuana ordinance
to allow dispensaries to open near liquor stores, and grow facilities
to operate legally, will appear on the November ballot, after a Wayne
County circuit judge's ruling earlier this week.
If approved by voters in November, the changes could have a
wide-reaching impact on the city's budding marijuana industry.
Detroit corporation counsel Melvin Butch Hollowell told the Free Press
that the city respects the right of voters to decide but concerns have
been raised about the measures, particularly the one that would impact
[continues 940 words]
BOSTON -- Marijuana legalization opponents will outnumber supporters
four to one on the new commission that will spearhead the state's
efforts to get a legal marijuana industry up and running by next
summer and then regulate the newly legal market.
Attorney General Maura Healey on Friday appointed Britte McBride, a
lawyer with experience working for the attorney general's office, the
state Senate and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security,
to the newly minted Cannabis Control Commission, and joined Gov.
Charlie Baker and Treasurer Deborah Goldberg in agreeing on two picks
to round out the five-person panel.
[continues 748 words]
When it comes to buying pot for pleasure, Fresno won't be on the
Retail marijuana dispensaries and other businesses related to
recreational use of marijuana will be barred from setting up shop in
Fresno after the City Council voted 4-3 Thursday to prohibit such
Proposition 64, approved by California voters in November 2016,
legalized the possession and recreational use of marijuana. It also
legalized the sale of marijuana for recreational use starting Jan. 1,
2018 -- but gave cities and counties the authority to regulate or
prohibit commercial cannabis operations in their jurisdictions.
[continues 493 words]
The Inland Empire has its first licensed medical marijuana dispensary,
with Green America now open for business in Perris.
"This is the first time that patients will be able to purchase their
products from a permitted dispensary," said Mark Douglas, chief
executive of the nonprofit that runs Green America. "This is a
historic day not just for Green America Inc., but for the city of
Perris and all of the Inland Empire."
The move comes after more than 77 percent of Perris voters in November
approved Measure K, an initiative put on the ballot by the Perris City
Council to remove the city's ban on marijuana businesses. The measure
permits dispensaries in industrial and commercial zones, with strict
rules on record keeping, buffers from schools and more.
[continues 958 words]
To weed or not to weed? That is the question for Michigan's
As the state board that will regulate Michigan's new medical marijuana
law begins to craft the rules that will govern the multimillion dollar
industry, the state's cities, townships and villages must decide
whether they want in or out.
As they are making their decisions, local officials are being
bombarded with phone calls from people who want to gain a foothold in
the medical marijuana business and are promising untold riches for the
communities that let them in.
[continues 1338 words]
An arm of the White House's anti-drug office has asked Massachusetts
and several other states where medical marijuana is legal to turn over
information about their registered patients, triggering a debate over
privacy rights and whether state officials should cooperate with a
federal administration that appears hostile to the drug.
Dale Quigley, deputy coordinator of the National Marijuana Initiative,
or NMI, has asked Massachusetts health officials for demographic data
on the age, gender, and medical condition of the state's approximately
40,000 registered medical marijuana patients. Quigley is a former
police officer in Colorado with a long history of speaking out against
[continues 952 words]
LANSING -- The Board of State Canvassers gave approval Thursday to a
new proposed ballot effort to amend the state constitution to fully
legalize recreational use of marijuana without taxing the drug.
The proposal from Abrogate Prohibition Michigan of Midland would
nullify all laws prohibiting or regulating the use of marijuana and
impose no fines, taxes or penalties on its use.
"I call it the Second Amendment of cannabis," sponsor Timothy Locke
told the Free Press, comparing it to the U.S. constitutional provision
granting the right to bear arms.
[continues 403 words]
The Democrat-controlled Massachusetts Legislature sent an overhaul of
the voter-passed marijuana legalization law to Governor Charlie
Baker's desk Thursday - but not before a top Republican lit into the
The Senate enacted the measure on a 32-6 vote. On Wednesday, the House
voted 136-11 to move the bill forward.
Baker is expected to sign the measure, which would raise cannabis
taxes from what the ballot question envisioned, merge oversight of
recreational and medical marijuana, and change how cities and towns
can ban pot shops.
[continues 675 words]
The legislation proposed in Massachusetts wouldn't change the basic
marijuana rights of adults that the ballot question put in place.
The Massachusetts Legislature is advancing an overhaul of the
voter-passed marijuana legalization law Wednesday, when both chambers
are expected to accept a House-Senate compromise bill in the afternoon.
A final Senate vote, which would send the bill to the governor, is
scheduled for Thursday.
The legislation would change the legalization law passed by 1.8
million voters in November.
[continues 324 words]
California's county fairs -- those wholesome showcases of agricultural
bounty -- could become places to score some pot.
Gov. Jerry Brown last week signed a bill that details how to carry out
the November 2016 ballot measure that legalizes recreational marijuana
as of January 2018. Tucked deep in the text is an option for county
fairs to allow sampling and sales for people 21 and older in
The Stanislaus County Fair has had "minor discussions" among the board
and Chief Executive Officer Matt Cranford about the issue, spokeswoman
Adrenna Alkhas said by email.
[continues 323 words]
Oviedo City Council members this week agreed to let the city's
moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries expire Aug. 5, making it
likely that Oviedo will become the first Seminole County municipality
to allow such businesses.
Council members also directed city staffers Monday to draft an
ordinance that will treat medical marijuana dispensaries under the
same zoning regulations as pharmacies.
Pharmacies in Oviedo are allowed to operate only in certain office and
commercial zoning districts, which are mostly located along major
thoroughfares. Council members are expected to vote on a new ordinance
in the coming weeks to allow pharmacies and medical marijuana
dispensaries to operate only in certain commercial zoning districts,
but not in zoning districts for offices.
[continues 208 words]
Massachusetts companies cannot fire employees who have a prescription
for medical marijuana simply because they use the drug, the state's
highest court ruled Monday, rejecting arguments from employers that
they could summarily enforce strict no-drug policies against such patients.
Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants said a California
sales and marketing firm discriminated against an employee in its
Foxborough office who uses marijuana to treat Crohn's disease when it
fired her for flunking a drug test without first trying to reach an
accommodation with her.
[continues 723 words]
Representative Ronald Mariano, a Quincy Democrat and the majority
leader, spoke about the revisions to the marijuana law on Monday at
the State House.
The Massachusetts Legislature is expected to approve a broad overhaul
of the voter-approved marijuana legalization law this week after House
and Senate negotiators agreed on a bill Monday that would hike
marijuana taxes and change how communities can ban local pot shops.
But the compromise immediately raised the specter of a serious legal
challenge, and the bill drew a rebuke from the top lobbyist for cities
and towns who said, should it pass, most municipalities would have
trouble implementing the law.
[continues 1007 words]
Tax rates and questions of local control have dominated the
conversation surrounding the Legislature's rewrite of the
voter-approved marijuana law. But for former firefighter Sean Berte,
who spent eight months in federal prison for cultivating marijuana,
the bill spells out something else entirely: a second chance.
Berte initially swore off the drug that he says cost him his job, his
life savings, and his freedom. But now, he sees an opportunity in the
green-leafed plant - this time, on the right side of the law.
[continues 940 words]