Court Strikes Down Mandatory Drug Testing For Florida Welfare
Category: News | Posted on Fri, December, 5th 2014 by THCFinder
Arbitrary, mandatory drug testing is wrong, no matter when such a policy is applied. That includes mandatory drug testing for welfare applicants. Eleven states have passed some form of drug testing for welfare applicants. Florida was unique in that it didn’t have a suspicion based policy for drug testing applicants. Florida required all applicants, no matter what, to have to submit to drug testing. That policy was shot down yesterday by a federal appeals court. Per the New York Times:
A federal appeals court on Wednesday struck down a 2011 Florida law requiring drug tests for people seeking welfare benefits even if they are not suspected of drug use, a measure pushed by Gov. Rick Scott in his first term in office.
The three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, ruled that the law, one of the strictest in the country, was an unreasonable search because Florida officials had failed to show a “substantial need” to test all people who applied for welfare benefits. Applicants were required to submit to urine tests, a measure that Mr. Scott said would protect children of welfare applicants by ensuring that their parents were not buying and using drugs.
“The state has not demonstrated a more prevalent, unique or different drug problem among TANF applicants than in the general population,” the panel said in its unanimous decision, using an acronym for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
It will be interesting to see if this case gets challenged all the way up to the United States Supreme Court, and if so, how the Court rules. Will the Court rule that mandatory testing is OK? Will they say that suspicion based testing is OK, but not requiring each and every applicant to test? Or will they throw the entire concept out of the window? Only time will tell.
Washington DC Council Bans Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing
Category: News | Posted on Thu, December, 4th 2014 by THCFinder
The pre-employment marijuana test has plagued job seeking marijuana consumers for many, many years. There have been numerous jobs in my life that I would have been great at, and that I desperately needed at the time, but I couldn’t pass the pre-employment drug test because I knew I had marijuana in my system. I know that I’m not alone. Fortunately for Washington D.C. residents, arbitrary pre-employment drug testing for marijuana was banned by the D.C. Council this week. Per the DCist:
The D.C. Council unanimously passed temporary legislation yesterday that will prohibit an employer from drug-testing potential employees for marijuana before a conditional job offer has been made.
The bill, the “Prohibition of Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing Emergency Act of 2014″ was introduced by Councilmember Vincent Orange (D-At Large) in March of this year, and explicitly states that an employer cannot test a potential employee for marijuana use until after an offer for employment has been made. After an employee has been hired, however, they “must still adhere to the workplace policies set forth by their employer.”
The bill still allows employers to require a drug test after employment has been offered, so applicants still run the risk of not getting the job. However, that denial of employment due to a failed UA will only come after the job has been offered. I’d love to see how many employers get as far as screening applicants, determining which one is the best fit, offering the position to what they feel is the best candidate, then have to grapple with a failed UA by said candidate. The candidate will have risen above everyone else, and employers will be forced to face their reefer madness fears and balance that against what seems in every way to be a qualified employee and the decision to retain that employee. From my experience, marijuana consumers can be very excellent employees. They shouldn’t be discriminated against solely because they choose to unwind with a substance that is far safer than alcohol or tobacco, two substances that most employers don’t deny employment for.
Washington School Refuses $14,000 Donation From Marijuana Farmer
Category: News | Posted on Tue, December, 2nd 2014 by THCFinder
Legalizing marijuana has done big things for schools in Washington and Colorado. A portion of marijuana taxes goes towards much needed school funding, which is a great thing. However, despite schools being cash strapped and needing all the help they can get, it hasn’t stopped a school in Prosser, Washington from refusing a sizable donation from a marijuana grower. Per the Seattle Times:
School officials Monday flatly turned down a $14,000 donation from a local marijuana farmer, taking a strong stand against youth marijuana use.
“We’re not taking it; end of story,” said Ray Tolcacher, Prosser School District superintendent.
The donor, Randy Williams, now is looking for another local recipient.
“I never thought it’d be a problem to give money away,” said the owner of Fireweed Farms, a marijuana producer.
Imagine how many books $14,000 could have bought? Or computers? Or school lunches for children that don’t get enough to eat at home? It’s a sad thing that reefer madness is so pervasive in some areas that a school won’t accept a donation, simply because it came from a marijuana grower. It sounds like Fireweed Farms is trying to see if the local Boys and Girls Club will accept the donation. I sure hope so, because $14,000 would pay for a lot of things for underprivileged youth.
Support For New York Marijuana Decriminalization Far Higher Than For Mayor
Category: News | Posted on Mon, December, 1st 2014 by THCFinder
During the 2014 Election, we found out that support for marijuana reform was higher than support was for most popular candidates. New York City did not have an initiative on the ballot (New York does not have an initiative process), but New York City did decriminalize marijuana. A new Quinnipiac Poll has found that marijuana decriminalization in New York City is far more popular than Mayor Bill de Blasio. Per Quinnipiac:
New York City voters approve 71 – 26 percent of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, but give the mayor an overall 49 – 36 percent job approval rating, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
Today’s rating compares to a 50 – 32 percent job approval in an August 26 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. The racial divide over Mayor de Blasio grows wider, with black approval at 71 – 14 percent and Hispanic approval at 56 – 27 percent, as white voters disapprove 50 – 34 percent.
Support for decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana is 51 – 45 percent among Republicans and over 66 percent among every other party, gender or racial group. Even voters over 65 years old support it 66 – 31 percent. Support in the boroughs ranges from 65 – 31 percent in Queens to 84 – 14 percent in Manhattan.
New York City voters say 70 – 27 percent that decriminalizing simple marijuana possession will not lead to an increase in crime, an opinion shared by every group listed.
I’d love to see a similar poll, but for full marijuana legalization. If just about any politician in New York City or New York State went head to head with marijuana reform, I bet reform would win just about every time. I’m hopeful for New York to legalize marijuana in 2016, but it will be an uphill battle since New York does not have an initiative system, as previously mentioned.
Colorado Health Officials Recommend Grants For Marijuana Research
Category: News | Posted on Wed, November, 26th 2014 by THCFinder
Something you hear marijuana opponents say over and over is that ‘there needs to be more marijuana research conducted’ before they support reform. That of course is usually only a delay tactic, proven by the fact that these same marijuana opponents fight marijuana research efforts as much as possible. I think deep down they know that research will be favorable to the marijuana movement. Fortunately for marijuana supporters, Colorado health officials have announced their recommendations for 8 marijuana research grants. Per the Denver Post:
Colorado health officials have recommended funding two studies on childhood epilepsy, two studies on post-traumatic stress disorder and four other studies as part of the largest-ever state research program on medical marijuana.
The studies — totaling about $7.5 million in cost — would be paid for by a surplus of registration fees paid by medical marijuana patients. The grants need final approval by the state Board of Health in December. Research could begin early next year.
“We hope the studies will contribute to the scientific research available about the use of marijuana in effectively treating various medical conditions,” Larry Wolk, the executive director of the state health department, said in a statement.
Marijuana is medicine. It sounds like such a simple statement, but it’s a statement that marijuana opponents seem to try to refute as much as they can. I can’t wait until these studies are concluded and the results are released. The results will be added to the mountain of evidence that backs up the claim that ‘marijuana is medicine.’ Future generations will look back on the marijuana opponents of this generation and wonder why there was so much fuss, and why anyone ever believed them in the first place.
Philadelphia Marijuana Arrests Fall 78 Percent After Decriminalization
Category: News | Posted on Mon, November, 24th 2014 by THCFinder
Philadelphia became the largest U.S. city to decriminalize marijuana possession earlier this year. The marijuana decriminalization measure was passed by the Philadelphia City Council after a hard fought battle. Since marijuana decriminalization took effect there has been a very dramatic decrease in marijuana arrests, as expected. Per Philly.Com:
Data provided by the Philadelphia Police Department to Philly420 shows a sharp decline in marijuana arrests since a new decriminalization policy went into effect. But, despite the change, some local residents are still getting handcuffed for weed.
From Oct. 20 to Nov. 20 just 20 of the new tickets were issued: 14 for possession and 6 for smoking in public. Possession of under 30 grams (about an ounce) results in a $25 ticket. Smoking it in public nets a fine of $100 and community service.
There were still 72 arrests for marijuana in the last month, but that was significantly less than the same time period in 2013. This year in the same period, there were about 320 arrests. Overall that’s a decline of 78 percent.
I would love to see statistics that show what other arrests occurred for other crimes during that same time period. Now that cops can focus on going after real criminals instead of arresting people for marijuana, the streets of Philadelphia are going to be a lot safer. I look forward to a day when there are zero arrests for marijuana in Philadelphia. Keep fighting until marijuana is legalized in Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania as a whole, and beyond!
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