Michigan Court: Medical Marijuana Patients Eligible for Unemployment Benefits

Category: Politics | Posted on Thu, November, 26th 2015 by THCFinder

Using medical marijuana in the state of Michigan may cost you your job, but it won’t cost you yourunemployment benefits. So decided the Michigan Supreme Court earlier this month, when it failed to consider an appeal by Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency.

The decision keeps in place a 2014 appellate court ruling determining that qualified medical patients cannot be denied unemployment benefits simply for failing a workplace drug test. As long as there is “no evidence to suggest that the positive drug tests were caused by anything other than claimants' use of medical marijuana in accordance with the terms of the MMMA (Michigan Medical Marijuana Act), the denial of the benefits constitute[s] an improper penalty,” the<lower court opined.

Over 60 percent of Michigan voters decided in favor of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act in November 2008.

The ruling marks the second time that a state court has ordered that medical marijuana patients are eligible for compensation while off the job. Last year, the New Mexico Court of Appeals decided that a person’s use of medical cannabis constitutes “reasonable and necessary care” and that such care ought to be reimbursed by employers in instances where it is used to treat injuries sustained while working. Under newly proposed state rules, injured workers may be eligible to receive compensation for up to two pounds of medical cannabis over a one-year period.

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Congressman Earl Blumenauer Calls for DEA Chief Rosenberg to Be Fired

Category: Politics | Posted on Mon, November, 23rd 2015 by THCFinder

Acting DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg brought some heat down on himself earlier this month when he called the concept of medical marijuana “a joke.” Since then, several prominent activists have been pressuring the Obama Administration to dismiss Rosenberg from his post. It even prompted the national advocacy group the Marijuana Majority to launch a petition against the nation’s leading drug enforcer that has so far garnered over 93,000 signatures. 

However, the heat generated by Rosenberg’s loose lips has now become a raging inferno, prompting federal lawmakers to take a stand against his ignorance this week on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday,Congressman Earl Blumenauer took to the House floor to call upon Uncle Sam to provide the nation with a new DEA head that falls more in line with the opinions of the American majority. 

Calling Rosenberg a “joke” and “an example of an inept, misinformed zealot,” Blumenauer argued that the attitudes over well over half the United States population does not stand behind the failed drug war policies that the leader of the DEA insists on propagating across the land.

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Senator Harry Reid Signs On To Marijuana Banking Bill

Category: Politics | Posted on Sun, November, 22nd 2015 by THCFinder
harry reid marijuana

(image via Wikipedia)

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) today signed on as a co-sponsor to the Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act of 2015 (S.1726), bipartisan legislation originally introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), which would give state-compliant cannabis businesses access to the banking system. Sen. Reid’s support for the banking measure comes as Nevada’s medical marijuana program has begun serving patients around the state.

“Medical cannabis providers in Nevada are giving compassionate care to critically ill patients, and they shouldn’t be putting themselves in danger to do it,” said NCIA executive director Aaron Smith. “We thank Senator Reid for supporting a fix to an irrational policy that puts people at risk and forces businesses and state officials to deal with massive logistical issues.

“Ending the banking crisis would be a win for everyone from patients to regulators to small business owners, and we appreciate Senator Reid standing up for his constituents.”

S.1726 would open up banking access for state-legal cannabis businesses by protecting financial institutions against prosecution or asset forfeiture for providing services to those businesses. Sen. Reid and Sen. Merkley are joined on the bill by Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Rand Paul (R-KY), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT).



Historic Sentencing Reform Bill Passes House Judiciary Committee

Category: Politics | Posted on Thu, November, 19th 2015 by THCFinder

colorado jail marijuanaToday, the House Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to advance the Sentencing Reform Act. The bill, introduced by Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI), and sponsored by thirty other Representatives, would reduce mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, expand the federal “safety valve” (which allows judges to use their discretion to sentence people below statutory mandatory minimums), and make many of the sentencing reductions retroactive.

“This vote today is a significant step toward reducing the federal prison population,” said Michael Collins, deputy director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “We have a bill moving in the Senate, and now we have a companion bill moving in the House, so I’m optimistic we’ll have legislation on the President’s desk in a matter of months.”

The vote comes a few weeks after Senate Judiciary Committee advanced its sentencing reform bill by a 15-5 vote. The Senate bill includes provisions around reentry and recidivism, which the House is expected to address in a separate bill.

The House vote comes a week after the Chuck Colson Task Force and Urban Institute released a report noting that many of the individuals currently incarcerated for drug crimes had low criminal history levels and thus a low rate of recidivism. Almost half of the nearly 100,000 individuals in federal prison for drug offenses were in the lowest two criminal history categories, and another quarter had no prior criminal history at all. Among these people convicted of drug law violations, three quarters had no serious history of violence and half had no violent history whatsoever.

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The Future Of Marijuana Reform Depends On The Success Of The Marijuana Industry

Category: Politics | Posted on Sat, November, 14th 2015 by THCFinder

marijuana cash industry bankingI fight for marijuana reform because it’s the right thing to do. I have several members of my family that have been arrested, locked up, and fined because of marijuana prohibition. I myself have been fined for marijuana possession before, but fortunately because I live in Oregon, it was just a fine and not an arrest. This was before Measure 91 took effect, back when marijuana was just decriminalized in Oregon. Had I been caught just one state over, in Idaho, I would have been punished much harsher.

I fight for marijuana reform because I believe that no one should be fined, or arrested, and certainly not jailed because they like to consume a plant that has been found to be 114 times safer than alcohol. I also fight against marijuana prohibition because it’s a racist public policy, proven by math alone. Marijuana prohibition is an enforcement tool that many members of law enforcement use to racially profile people, and that is extremely wrong.

There are many, many others out there that fight for marijuana reform for the same reasons. They do not do it because it’s profitable, and in fact, most of them have sacrificed a great deal of their hard earned dollars in the name of reform. Unfortunately, and I say this as one of those people, that is not enough to ensure that marijuana reform occurs across this country. I wish it was, but it’s not. We have been doing the ‘reform marijuana laws because it’s the right thing to do’ strategy for many decades with mixed results.

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Hillary Clinton Says She Supports Re-Classifying Marijuana From Schedule I To Schedule II

Category: Politics | Posted on Sun, November, 8th 2015 by THCFinder

hillary clinton marijuanaIt wasn’t that long ago that Hillary Clinton participated in the Democrat debates on CNN during which she was asked if she supported marijuana legalization. She said that she did not. Bernie Sanders on the other hand was asked specifically about the Nevada marijuana legalization initiative that voters in that state will be voting on in 2016, and he said that he would vote for it. After the debate, Bernie Sanders was praised for his answer, and Hillary Clinton was not.

Since that time Hillary Clinton has changed her position on marijuana, which is nothing new. The day after the debate she stated that while she doesn’t support federal reform, she does support allowing states to pursue marijuana legalization if they wanted to. Today she ‘evolved’ on the issue even more by stating that marijuana should be re-classified from Schedule I to Schedule II. Per theWashington Post:

Clinton said that she supports removing marijuana from a list of schedule 1 drugs, a classification that prevents federally-sponsored research into its effects. As a schedule 1 drug, marijuana is classified among the most dangerous drugs that the federal Drug Enforcement Agency regulates.

“We haven’t done research, why? Because it’s considered a schedule 1 drug,” Clinton said during a town hall meeting at Claflin University in South Carolina on Saturday. “I’d like to move it from schedule 1 to schedule 2.”

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