Monthly Archives: March 2016

Analyzing Mexico’s Supreme Court Case on Legalization of Marijuana

By Sam Mendez, Executive Director of the Cannabis Law and Policy Project

Back on November 4, 2015, the Mexico Supreme Court effectively legalized marijuana for the four plaintiffs in the case before them. Wherever one stands politically on the question of marijuana legalization, how the Mexico’s Supreme Court came to their decision to legalize marijuana is downright fascinating because it was a constitutional issue related every Mexican’s “fundamental right to free development of one’s personality,” a right established in Mexico’s constitution.

Credit: Mexico Gulf Reporter

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Washington State Adopts Marijuana Recall Rules

By Daniel Shortt 

Pesticides

On March 23, 2016, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) revised draft marijuana rules and adopted emergency rules. The LCB’s rulemaking is part of its continued effort to implement the Cannabis Patient Protection Act, which requires the LCB and the Department of Health  regulate medical marijuana.

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SCOTUS Refuses to Hear Case on Colorado’s Legal Marijuana

By Daniel Shortt

SCOTUSbuilding_1st_Street_SEThe Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS)  rejected Nebraska and Oklahoma’s challenge to Colorado’s marijuana legalization. Nebraska and Oklahoma sued Colorado for legalizing marijuana, alleging that marijuana from Colorado strained Nebraska and Oklahoma’s resources and forced them to spend time and money battling marijuana. The lawsuit did not seek to require Colorado to ban the personal use of marijuana or prosecute marijuana use as a crime. The lawsuit instead sought to shut down Colorado’s legalization program that allows for legal growing and distribution of marijuana.

The Justices’ voted 6-2 to deny Nebraska and Oklahoma’s motion for leave to file a complaint, without providing an explanation.

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Cannabis Industry Labor Laws

This post  was originally written by Daniel Shortt for Canna Law Blog

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Marijuana industry workers face a unique legal landscape due to the interplay of federal and state law. Several states allow for medical use of marijuana and Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Washington D.C. have legalized cannabis for recreational use. Federal law has not followed suit and it still prohibits marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. This dichotomy of laws creates ambiguity when it comes to how federal law applies to marijuana businesses in a whole host of legal areas, including labor and employment law.

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Comments on Mexico’s National Debate on Marijuana Legalization, Part 2

By Sam Mendez, Executive Director of the Cannabis Law and Policy Project

A protester carries a sign saying "Make a joint, not war." Photo: AFP

A protester carries a sign saying “Make a joint, not war.” Photo: AFP

The following reflects the views of the author and not necessarily that of the Cannabis Law & Policy Project or the University of Washington.

On Tuesday, March 8th, I was honored to take part in Mexico’s Third Forum of the National Debate on the use of Cannabis in Saltillo, Coahuila. The prior two Forums concerned public health, prevention, ethics, and human rights, while this Forum’s covered topics of economics and regulation. My presentation was largely similar to the one given at Mexico’s National Commission on Human Rights (see last week’s blog post), but shorter and without the discussion on cannabis’ dangers and human rights issues. Due to time constraints, I presented mostly on Washington’s marijuana regulatory system and its effect on the economy. Also, I spoke little in terms of advocacy, though some debate arose after presentations. Continue reading

Comments on Mexico’s National Debate on Marijuana Legalization, Part 1

By Sam Mendez, Executive Director of the Cannabis Law and Policy Project

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The following reflects the views of the author and not necessarily that of the Cannabis Law & Policy Project or the University of Washington.

Last Friday I had the privilege of presenting to the National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR), an office of the Mexican government in Mexico City, to provide a Washington perspective to their debate on marijuana legalization. As you may have heard, late last year the Mexican Supreme Court ruled in favor of four plaintiffs asserting the right to consume marijuana. What struck me the most about that case was that the plaintiffs weren’t asserting any medical necessity arguments. Instead, the plaintiffs argued that marijuana contributed to who they were as a person and thus had the right to consume it. While in their favor, the ruling was restricted to those four plaintiffs, and thus nothing changed for the rest of the country. Still, the Court seemed intent on sparking a national debate, which is exactly what it did. Continue reading

Justice Scalia’s Death and the Supreme Court Cannabis Case

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

Image used under the Creative Commons license.

Recently, the International Business Times’s brought up a great point that Justice Antonin Scalia’s death may have a large impact on the current lawsuit filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma against Colorado. Nebraska and Oklahoma are suing Colorado regarding the flow of cannabis products from Colorado into Nebraska and Oklahoma where cannabis is banned. The justices are scheduled to be consider whether to hear the case on Friday, March 4th.

This blog post will not go into the merits of the current case, but rather evaluate Justice Scalia’s prior rulings related to cannabis cases and discuss possible impacts of his absence on the Court. However, it appears that the forecast on the current Colorado case may be still nebulous despite the loss of Justice Scalia. Continue reading