Tag: Due Process

Suspending Students For Odor Of Marijuana On Their Persons Problematic In Legal States

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

wenatchee-high-school-logoThere is going to need to be a rethinking of how schools with their propensity toward zero-tolerance rules adjudicate students they suspect of marijuana use or possession. That issue was played out in over the course of recent months at a high school in Wenatchee, Washington where in October of last year school administrators suspended for five days a student based upon the odor of marijuana on his person. Washington is a state having legal recreational and medicinal marijuana possession and use.

Though marijuana possession or use is for those under twenty-one years of age is a status offense–a misdemeanor and violates school policy–having a odor of marijuana in itself is not indicative of violations of law. The student and his mother denied the student using or possessing marijuana, however the school district continued with the suspension. It turns out, as alleged by the mother and is the most probable explanation, the student had the aroma on his person as a result of her harvesting legal medical marijuana in the household. The mother has a prescription for medical marijuana.

Continue reading “Suspending Students For Odor Of Marijuana On Their Persons Problematic In Legal States”

The same-sex marriage decisions; a view from inside the SCOTUS


Cara L. Gallagher, weekend contributor

History happened yesterday. Will you remember where you were when the same-sex marriage decisions came down? I will. I was inside the Court when we all sat up somewhat shocked to hear the first case of the day was Obergefell v. Hodges. Again, I am lousy at predicting what cases we’ll get decisions on each day. This fact is already entered into the record. But because it was a decision of such importance, for the first time, I stopped writing, listened, and looked around to see how the audience, the public, were not only hearing but experiencing what I was hearing.

It wasn’t obvious from the start of Kennedy’s reading of the majority (made up of the four liberal justices) decision that it would come out on the side of the same-sex couples, many of which were in the Court to hear their case. He started off referencing the “millennia” of the institution of marriage. Those who listened to the oral arguments back in March will recall Kennedy used this word a lot to question Mary Bonauto, the attorney for the same-sex couples, on why the definition of marriage should be expanded to include same-sex couples when, for so long, it has been reserved to one man-one woman. Continue reading “The same-sex marriage decisions; a view from inside the SCOTUS”

Communications Management Units and Prisoners Rights


Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty-(rafflaw)- Weekend Contributor

If you were like me, you may never have heard the term “Communications Management Units” before.  They are basically a section of a prison where certain prisoners are housed with limited or no access to communications or family visitations.  The reason very little was known about the CMU’s is that when they first were initiated at prisons in Indiana and Illinois, their existence was kept from the public.

“The units opened almost in secret in 2006 and 2008. Critics say they flouted federal law by not publishing the proposed rule and opening up a period for public comment.” Readers Supported News  If a lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights had not been filed in 2010, we may never have known much about these abusive tactics in our domestic prison system.  Maybe the harshest aspect of being sent to the CMU was the realization that you may never know why you were sent there or how you could get out of it. Continue reading “Communications Management Units and Prisoners Rights”