This Week in Cannabis: Jobs go up in smoke due to medical marijuana drug testing; Studies, studies everywhere; Philly on the decriminalization train (as are some world leaders), and new claims that marijuana affects teenage developmental “outcomes”.
Marijuana Drug Testing and Employment: No Sugar Coating
The issue of employment in states where marijuana use is legalized continues to confound. In the news (at CNBC) most recently is the story of former Dish employee, Brandon Coats, who was shown the door after failing his random drug test—in Colorado. Well, that’s not entirely true. Actually, the door literally wouldn’t open for him when he swiped his card to gain entrance to perform his duties as a CSR for the cable company the next day.
It gets better. It was medical marijuana. He carries a medical card and uses marijuana to relieve pain after he was paralyzed in a car crash in 2009.
Brandon he will get his day in court this month to contest his 2010 termination. And if he wins at the Colorado Supreme Court, it should raise an interesting debate for how businesses in those states where recreational and medical use has been legalized will move forward. Of course, the recourse to hide behind the federal law will continue to impact how employers handle marijuana use, but this could be one to watch for precedent.
To quote Mr. Coats: “There are a lot of people out there who need jobs, can do a good job, but in order for them to live their lives, they have to have this. A person can drink all night long, be totally hung over the next day and go to work and there’s no problem with it.”
How Do Ladies Tolerate It
In lieu of government activity, it would seem that a lot more studies regarding mmj have been released. One such study, according to the Huffington Post, is that women build a tolerance to the pain-relieving effects of THC quicker than men. Or that’s at least what the lab rats at the University of Washington have demonstrated.
The study could be helpful in determining how marijuana use can be used for pain relief in women by doctors and provides the opportunity to further explore possible gender disparities in the pain-relieving effects of drugs.
And the studies continue. More results, this time part of a study done in Australia and New Zealand and published in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry, are showing that frequent teen marijuana use has a negative impact on “developmental outcomes” according to CNN.
But as no causal link between marijuana use and the reported outcomes exists, the timing of this study’s publication is interesting, considering the debate that is raging around the negative effects of marijuana use in the U.S.—especially among teens—and particularly in light of the November ballots being right around the corner for states like Alaska, Oregon and Florida.
Perhaps the most telling line in the article: “However, they admit these studies are limited in their ability to explain what’s behind the associations.” Sounds credible, right?
Mason Tvert, communications director with the Marijuana Policy Project, is quoted in the CNN article saying that the study doesn’t show marijuana use as the causes any of these problems, it simply draws a a general connection between individuals who use marijuana and those who experienced the type of problems discussed in the study. In his own words, “The article expressly states that there remains no evidence that using marijuana causes depression, suicide or dropping out of school. It simply shows that teens who are prone to developing these problems are more likely to have used marijuana.”
Philly Blunts Marijuana Criminalization
It looks like the City of Brotherly Love is set to join the list of places that will decriminalize the possession and use of marijuana as early as October 20, according to the Constitution Daily.
An agreement between Mayor Michael Nutter and City Councilman James Kenney now sees the possession of 30g or less of marijuana carrying a $25 fine and public use a $100 fine.
A World of Decriminalization
So, if the whole world said to decriminalize drugs, would you do it? That’s the hope for the Global Commission on Drug Policy, a coalition of ex-international political heavyweights (which includes ex-U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and other South American and European top dogs) according to the New York Times.
They are calling for the international decriminalization of “as many of the drugs that are currently illegal as possible.” This is ahead of the 2016 planned meeting by the U.N on international drug laws. Should make for some interesting rhetoric in the coming years.