Monthly Archives: January 2016

Cannabis Cafes and Clubs – Nuisance or New Thing?

By Sam Mendez, executive director of the Cannabis Law and Policy Project

In every state that has legalized marijuana, consuming it in public is still illegal. Further, every state besides Alaska has outlawed private cannabis cafes, clubs, and any other establishment in the business of having customers consume marijuana on the premises. Since many landlords don’t allow smoking in their residences, this can leave users that don’t own their own home in a legal bind. Should states allow cannabis clubs?

© Oakland Museum of California

© Oakland Museum of California

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Marijuana, Marihuana and Mariguana: What’s in a Name?

By Daniel Shortt

Photo by Didier le Ger, used under Creative Commons License.

Photo by Didier le Ger, used under Creative Commons License.

Cannabis is known by many names in the US. The most popular moniker is “marijuana” and has been for some time. In 2013, AlJazeera America documented the history of the term. In the 19th century, cannabis was the preferred term, found on medicine bottles throughout the country. The switch to marijuana occurred around 1910, at the time of the Mexican Revolution. The war displaced thousands of Mexican peasants, who migrated to the American south and brought with them “mariguana.”

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New York’s Medical Marijuana Program – Too Restrictive?

By Sam Mendez, executive director of the Cannabis Law and Policy Project

Last week New York saw the opening of its first medical marijuana dispensaries under one of the nation’s most restrictive state programs. According to the New York Times, a mere 51 patients had registered with the program on opening day. However, by the next day that number apparently increased to 71. New York’s program is distinct from other medical marijuana regulatory schemes like those found in California or Washington, where it is much easier to obtain marijuana via a medical card. Some commentators, such as the Marijuana Policy Project, have questioned whether this system is too restrictive.

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No smoking or eating marijuana in New York. Photo credit: Brett Carlsen for The New York Times.

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Cannabis Delivery Bill in Washington State

By Jason Liu, second-year stu­dent at the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton School of Law. 

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Today Rep. Cary Condotta (R-East Wenatchee) and Christopher Hurst (D-Enumclaw) sponsored House Bill 2368 (HB 2368) which proposes a pilot cannabis delivery program.  The temporary program creates cannabis delivery endorsements which would be issued to existing cannabis retailers and allows the delivery of cannabis to a resident that is twenty-one or older at a private residence located in a city with a population greater than 650,000 (Seattle is the only city in the state of that size). Under RCW 69.50.382,  only “common carriers” or transporters of cannabis may transport cannabis products between licensed marijuana businesses located within the state.  Thus, the Bill may have a large impact on the current cannabis retailer landscape in Washington State. Continue reading

New Washington Marijuana Rules May Mean Big Changes

By Daniel Shortt 

Photo by Vipul Mathur, used under a Creative Commons license.

Photo by Vipul Mathur, used under a Creative Commons license.

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) vote to adopt several proposed rules relating to the State’s cannabis industry.  These rules are the result of the public hearings the WSLCB held across the state late last year.  In an email sent to Washington stakeholders, the WSLCB made the following comments:

“We spent many hours listening to and reviewing public comment,” said Board Chair Jane Rushford. “Since the beginning, this has been and open and transparent process. Today’s revised rules reflect the Board’s continued commitment to transparency and the willingness to listen and make adjustments that may improve the rules.”

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Did Congress Legalize Medical Marijuana? No.

By Sam Mendez, executive director of the Cannabis Law and Policy Project

Numerous sources are reporting that the controversial Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, passed in late 2015, effectively legalized medical marijuana. Jacob Sullum of Forbes cited to six different media outlets that were all “overselling” the amendment.1 Sullum stated Congress did not legalize medical marijuana or even prevent the Federal government from raiding dispensaries or other medical marijuana growers, even if that was the intention of amendment’s authors. Three Congressmen, including the amendment’s two authors, spoke out against the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Harborside Health Center, one of the largest dispensaries in the country. They stated, “[W]e believe [the Department of Justice] is not acting within the spirit or the letter of the law nor in the best interests of the people who depend on Harborside for reliable, safe medical marijuana.” So what’s the deal?

Harborside Health Center employee Gerard Barber. (Jeff Chiu, Associated Press file)

Harborside Health Center employee Gerard Barber. (Jeff Chiu, Associated Press file)

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