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!
Bill Introduced To Overturn Ban On VA Physicians Recommending Medical Marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Fri, November, 21st 2014 by THCFinder
U.S. House Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), along with ten bipartisan Congressional cosponsors introduced the “Veterans Equal Access Act” (VEAA) today, marking a concerted federal effort to allow our country’s veterans to become medical marijuana patients in states where it’s legal. The VEAA would simply allow Veterans Affairs (VA) physicians to discuss and recommend medical marijuana to their patients, a right enjoyed by physicians outside of the VA system.
“Post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury are just as damaging and harmful as any injuries that are visible from the outside,” said Blumenauer, the bill’s author. “Sometimes even more so because of the devastating effect they can have on a veteran’s family. We should be allowing these wounded warriors access to the medicine that will help them survive and thrive, including medical marijuana, not treating them like criminals and forcing them into the shadows. It’s shameful.”
The VEAA is cosponsored by a balanced mix of ten members on each side of the aisle, as well as a range of members from states that have, and still have not, legalized marijuana for medical use: Dina Titus (D-NV), Justin Amash (R-MI), Paul Broun (R-GA), Walter Jones (R-NC), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Sam Farr (D-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), Steve Stockman (R-TX) and Steve Cohen (D-TN).
In 2011, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) issued a directive which said, “VHA policy does not administratively prohibit Veterans who participate in State marijuana programs from also participating in VHA substance abuse programs, pain control programs, or other clinical programs where the use of marijuana may be considered inconsistent with treatment goals.” However, in addition to giving wide discretion to continue discrimination against veterans, the policy also forbids VA physicians from issuing medical marijuana recommendations to their patients.
For many veterans, their VA physician is their primary care physician and they have no need to go outside of the VA system for health care. In fact, since more than a million U.S. veterans are at risk of homelessness due to poverty, they don’t have the option to pay for private physicians in order to meet their health care needs. As a result, veterans are either denied critical pain medication and other pharmaceuticals because of their medical marijuana use, or they are forced by their VA physicians to go without an important and adjunct therapy.
“Millions of Americans suffer from PTSD and chronic pain, but our veterans are even more adversely affected by these conditions, and yet we fail to treat them with the same level of respect,” said Mike Liszewski, Government Affairs Director with Americans for Safe Access, the country’s leading medical marijuana advocacy group. “Veterans must be given the same rights and health care options that we give other Americans, especially where medical marijuana is concerned.”
Researchers were granted permission earlier this year to study the effects of medical marijuana on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). However, soon after, the University of Mississippi, the sole supplier of research-grade cannabis in the U.S., said it was unable to provide the requested strains, causing delays in the research. More recently, in June, the study hit another snag after the lead researcher, Dr. Sue Sisley, was abruptly fired by the University of Arizona.
In March, the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs published a study that found participants who used inhaled marijuana reported an average of 75 percent reduction in PTSD symptoms.
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