Tag: Marijuana

Oregon State Fair To Host Marijuana Exhibit: Just As It Does For Cattle And Pumpkins

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor.

Marijuana LeafWe are now seeing the fruition of the campaign to normalize in society state legal marijuana. We’ve discussed previously how those on probation in Washington State no longer will face prosecution for marijuana usage, and where marijuana shops and billboard advertisements are seen alongside energy drinks and beach ready bodies. Now Oregon, having recently legalized marijuana, hosts at its State Fair exhibitions and competitions featuring legal weed. Let the Fairijuana begin!

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Marijuana Impairment DUI Arrests Face Challenges Due To Inaccurate And Unproven Impairment Studies

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Marijuana LeafThe standard for which Marijuana Impairment presumptive levels in DUI prosecutions are likely to be under scrutiny due to what some are regarding as unproven scientific evidence. Presumptive impairment levels for THC concentration in blood samples might not satisfy legal requirements from an actual driving impairment perspective. They could in-fact be regarded arbitrary and not scientifically supported.

States do have the legal authority to establish presumptive impairment levels, that is a measurable quantity of a substance sufficient to establish an element of DUI. In fact while the present presumptive alcohol level in the United States for ordinary drivers is .08, states have established .04 for commercial vehicle driving and some states have .02 for those under twenty one years of age who violate analog status offenses that do not define impairment as an element.

Now, the American Automobile Association’s Foundation for Traffic Safety cited a study that differences between individuals can be wide and greatly varied regarding impairment at a set blood THC level. While some drivers show obvious signs of impairment at low levels of THC blood concentration, other persons can have greatly elevated readings and show no outward appearance of signs of DUI.

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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.

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It’s Time To Expunge Minor Marijuana Conviction Records In Legal States

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

the-thin-line-of-medical-marijuanaSimple marijuana possession is legal in several states and is likely to be in others in the future. Yet, the taint of a marijuana conviction on record can be a limiting factor for the convicted seeking employment and other benefits–Especially for engaging in an act that is essentially legal in green states. While certainly the courts are under no present obligation to expunge these records, morally it can be argued that state legislatures should put this social handicap to a rest.

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Should Marijuana Laws Be Enforced By The Department Of Revenue And Not Traditional Law Enforcement?

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Marijuana LeafPrior to marijuana legalization in Washington, enforcement of state marijuana laws were, as with the various other states, primarily enforced by city police, county sheriff’s departments, and the state patrol.

Now the driving force behind state efforts has mostly shifted to the Washington State Liquor Control Board and the Washington Department of Revenue for licensing and revenue collection for state licensed producers, processors, and retailers. The medical marijuana aspect is currently unregulated by the state. There does remain, however, the illicit trade which still provides contraband marijuana and remains the largest supplier of the substance.

Yet when we look at other regulated substances such as alcohol and tobacco, local law enforcement officers rarely intervene in the illegal trade. The primary agency responsible for enforcement of these substances’ statutes is that of the Liquor Control Board.

Should enforcement of the marijuana laws be deferred by traditional law enforcement as well?

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Man Arrested After Mistakenly Sending Text Message Offering Marijuana to Deputy’s Friend

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

the-thin-line-of-medical-marijuanaA man in Wenatchee, Washington was charged with Felony Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Deliver for what began as a text message. Unfortunately for him, his offer to illegally sell marijuana mistakenly went to a friend of a deputy sheriff.

After the incident, described in a Probable Cause Statement by a detective with the Columbia River Drug Task Force, Braxton Whited probably should consider reviewing his cell phone’s contact list.

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Wenatchee, Washington City Council To Reconsider Prohibition of Marijuana Retailers After Lawsuit Filed

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Marijuana LeafCity of Wenatchee LogoWe reported last week of the City of Wenatchee prohibiting state licensed marijuana retailers and as a result a future retailer filed a civil suit against the city in Superior Court. It appears now the city council is trying to reverse its earlier position.

On Thursday of this week, the council held a public meeting after an executive council possibly discussing legal issues the city might face. During the public portion a majority of council members voted to direct the city attorney to draft an amendment to the ordinance that would omit a clause in the business licensing ordinance requiring businesses be compliant with federal law to be permitted to operate in the city.

One can probably surmise what instigated the city to have a change of heart, but the American Civil Liberties Union stated recently they would join the plaintiff’s case and were prepared to take the matter to the U.S. Supreme court.

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