Category Archives: Medical Marijuana

Florida’s Second Circuit Invalidates State Legislature’s Attempt to Ban Use of Smokable Marijuana in Private

Medical marijuana has become more and more widespread and accepted throughout the country and state legislatures have drafted legislation that regulates its use.  However, when a state’s legislature oversteps its limits, the courts must be willing to respond and invalidate such measures.  That’s exactly what happened on Friday, May 25th, 2018, in People United for Medical Marijuana v. Florida Dept. of Health, Index No.: 2017-CA-1394 (2nd Judicial Circuit, Leon County). In November 2016, Floridians voted to amend their state constitution and allow…

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Potential Approval by the FDA of New Cannabis-Based Drug Used to Treat Rare Forms of Epilepsy

Despite continued animosity by U.S. Department of Justice regarding marijuana and marijuana-based products moving forward, at least one branch of the federal government has decided that the time is now right to at least consider the efficacy of certain medications that have their basis in cannabis. U.K. company GW Pharmaceuticals Plc, has created a drug to treat seizures associated with two types of epilepsy that typically affect children and recently provided “substantial evidence” of the drug’s effectiveness to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The…

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The End of Marijuana as a Schedule I Banned Substance?

On January 4, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded what is commonly referred to as “The Cole Memorandum.” The Cole Memo was drafted in 2013 by United States Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole and governed federal prosecution of offenses related to marijuana/cannabis. Under the memo, U.S. attorneys generally refrained from prosecuting state-licensed cannabis businesses unless they violated state as well as federal law. For the most part, this was not an issue, as those states which had legalized marijuana heavily regulated its use, and…

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Potential Criminal Repercussions Under Medical Marijuana Laws for Physicians

Many states have their own medical marijuana laws that define who can use medical marijuana, what qualifying conditions are necessary, and what licenses are required to distribute the drug. In Arizona, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA, A.R.S. §36-2801) immunizes physicians from prosecution for providing written certifications that a patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefits from the medical use of marijuana to treat or alleviate a patient’s debilitating medical condition. The physician is required to specify the debilitating medical condition and sign…

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Federal Law Preempts State Law Regarding Discrimination Lawsuit Brought by Employee Terminated due to Medical Marijuana Use

In our last two posts related to this issue, we’ve discussed how states have interpreted and applied their own laws regarding medical marijuana use in the context of employment discrimination lawsuits when faced with opposing federal law under the Federal Controlled Substances Act. In Noffsinger v. SSC Niantic Operating Company LLC, 2017 WL 3401260, the Connecticut Supreme Court held that any person who used marijuana for medicinal purposes in compliance with Connecticut law may maintain a cause of action against an employer who refused…

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State Law Wins (Again) Over Federal Law When Firing Someone for the Legal Use of Medical Marijuana

We recently discussed Noffsinger v. SSC Niantic Operating Company LLC, 2017 WL 3401260, wherein the Connecticut Supreme Court analyzed whether federal law precluded enforcement of a Connecticut law that prohibited employers from firing or refusing to hire someone who used marijuana for medicinal purposes. The Connecticut Supreme Court held that any person who used marijuana for medicinal purposes in compliance with Connecticut law may maintain a cause of action against an employer who refused to employ them for this reason. The issue continues to…

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State Law Trumps Federal Law When Firing or Refusing to Hire Someone Due to Use of Medical Marijuana

As noted in some of our earlier posts, a growing number of states have allowed marijuana use when it is used for medicinal purposes. This is despite the fact that federal law still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I substance, on par with heroin and cocaine. Because of the growing use of medical marijuana, more and more litigation is arising. In Connecticut, a recent court decision firmly announced that state law trumped federal law when dealing with employment issues related to medical marijuana use.…

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Medical Marijuana Faces Potential Challenge by the Federal Government

During the last week of June 2017, the House Appropriations Committee released its 2018 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, which determines the funding levels for numerous federal agencies, including the Department of Justice. Interestingly, the bill did not include language limiting the Justice Department from taking action against state-sanctioned medical cannabis producers, retailers, or consumers. This language is known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment. It is interesting because on or about May 1, 2017, the President signed an extension of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment (the bill’s…

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