Category Archives: Criminal Law

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

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


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

Legal vs. Illegal Cannabis

(Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on Canna Law Blog; Daniel Shortt blogs there and is also a student in the Cannabis Law & Policy Project at UW Law)

Marijuana Arrest

Despite legalization, cannabis can still lead to criminal liability.

In most states with state-legal cannabis, an illicit cannabis market still flourishes. In many of those states, a large portion of growing, processing, selling, and buying still occurs outside the state-legal regulatory system. This illicit market for cannabis stretches across the nation and impacts both states with and without state-legal cannabis. Before state-legalization, all cannabis was grown, processed, sold, and bought illicitly, and in about half the states, that is still the case. The Canna Law Blog has previously written about how cannabis state-legalization impacts the illicit market. This post further examines how the state-legal and illicit cannabis markets interact.

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