A Montana judge permanently has banned enforcement of key provisions of the state’s medical marijuana law. District Judge James Reynolds of Helena on Friday permanently blocked several provisions, including the ban on the advertising of marijuana and the prohibition against commercial sale for profit of marijuana to people authorized to obtain it for medical reasons. The provision against for-profit sales essentially meant that medical marijuana cardholders had to grow their own pot. Reynolds struck down provisions that restrict a medical marijuana provider from assisting more than three people licensed by the state to obtain legal pot or marijuana-infused products, again without them being able to be paid. The judge also ruled against a part of the law that required the state to provide the Board of Medical Examiners with the names of any physician who within a 12-month period wrote certifications for medical marijuana for 25 or more patients.
Two weeks after President Obama signed legislation prohibiting federal interference with state medical marijuana laws, his administration has told a federal judge in Sacramento that pot is still a dangerous drug with no medical value. The U.S. attorney’s office, representing Obama’s Justice Department, made the argument in a court filing Wednesday opposing a challenge to the long-standing federal law that classifies marijuana as a Schedule One drug along with heroin, LSD and ecstasy — substances that have a high potential for abuse and no safe medical use. While there may be “some dispute among doctors as to whether marijuana is medicine,” there is ample evidence to support the government’s conclusion that “this psychoactive, addictive drug is not accepted as safe for medical use at this time, even with medical supervision,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Broderick wrote.
Rhode Islanders continue to use marijuana and illicit drugs at the highest rates in the nation, according to a recently released annual survey. In no other state did as many people report having used marijuana in the past month: 14 percent of those age 12 and older, up from 13 percent the previous year, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Rhode Island was also tops for those who reported having used marijuana in the previous year: 20 percent, up from 19 percent. In the survey, Rhode Island actually edged out Colorado, which has legalized marijuana use and became the first state in the nation to allow recreational sales of the drug. Colorado had the second-highest number of people reporting marijuana use in the past month: 12.7 percent. But the survey cannot fully reflect the effect of changes in Colorado, since legalization of marijuana took place only in late 2012 and marijuana shops did not open until 2014.
In a letter sent last month, the state attorney general’s office asks federal health and education officials for permission for Colorado’s colleges and universities to “obtain marijuana from non-federal government sources” for research purposes. The letter isn’t more specific on how the state’s higher-education institutions might score weed. But it was sent pursuant to a law passed in 2014 requiring state officials to ask that Colorado colleges and universities be allowed “to cultivate marijuana and its component parts.” “Current research is riddled with bias or insufficiencies and often conflict with one another,” reads the letter, written by deputy attorney general David Blake. “It is critical that we be allowed to fill the void of scientific research, and this may only be done with your assistance and cooperation.” Colorado last month awarded more than $8 million for medical marijuana research to study whether the drug treats post-traumatic stress disorder, epilepsy and other health problems.
Fewer soldiers are testing positive for marijuana in two states where recreational use of the drug is legal, an Army study of the issue obtained by The Colorado Springs Gazette has found. The change in Washington and Colorado, where legal pot is available near large Army bases, is small. But it’s the reverse of what military leaders said would happen in Colorado Springs with marijuana legalization. “With one minor exception, the data is trending downwards, though it remains relatively flat and the changes are statistically insignificant,” Army spokesman Lt. Col. Justin Platt wrote in an email from the Pentagon. The number of positive marijuana tests at Fort Carson in Colorado dropped to 422 from 725 and the same downward trend was evident at Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington, which had a reduction of 131 positive tests. A court-martial conviction for pot use can bring up to two years behind bars.