Massachusetts court: drunk driving tests not valid for pot. The state’s highest court ruled that roadside sobriety tests cannot be used as conclusive evidence in stoned driving cases. The justices noted that there is currently no reliable test for measuring someone’s impairment from marijuana. The Associated Press “Because the effects of marijuana may vary greatly from one individual to another, and those effects are as yet not commonly known, neither a police officer nor a lay witness who has not been qualified as an expert may offer an opinion as to whether a driver was under the influence of marijuana,” said the court. Mass Live Related: Hound Labs is one of the startups that is seeking to develop a reliable roadside test for marijuana impairment. “Why are you such a narc?” asked a TechCrunch editor to the CEO of the company. Leafly
Senators try for criminal justice reforms again. Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) say they will re-introduce legislation that would lower mandatory minimums for drug offenses. The bipartisan criminal justice reform bill was initially introduced in 2015, but stalled due to a “small yet vocal wing of Senate conservatives.” The legislation could set up a fight with the Justice Department under attorney general Jeff Sessions, who has expressed support for mandatory minimums. The Hill
Jeff Sessions continues to slam marijuana legalization. “I’ve never felt that we should legalize marijuana,” said Sessions on Wednesday, echoing his previous comments on the issue. “It doesn’t strike me that the country would be better if it’s being sold on every street corner. We do know that legalization results in greater use.” He did not give a clear answer on “the enforcement of federal prohibition laws in states that have changed their cannabis policies.” Forbes
‘A big problem for military veterans.’ Veterans are usually first in line for federal jobs. And despite V.A. policy that prohibits its doctors from talking to their patients about medical marijuana, the number of military veterans using the drug to treat PTSD has increased in recent years. “You can’t smoke pot and work for the federal government, period… It’s a huge topic among vets, because of those using medical marijuana for PTSD,” said an attorney who specializes in federal legal matters. While case law in unclear on the issue, government policies are clear that those who use cannabis “are not suitable for Federal employment.” Bloomberg BNA
Las Vegas looks to Denver on pot lounges. Officials decided that they would wait until Denver licensed the first marijuana consumption businesses before discussing the possibility for Sin City. “I don’t know if we need to be first or not, I don’t see any reason why we have to be the first, but we certainly have to be right,” said one city commissioner. The Associated Press Officials won’t revisit the issue for another three to six months. Las Vegas Sun
Man confesses to killing Washington dispensary employee. A man confessed on TV to killing a budtender outside a marijuana dispensary. He was angry that he got kicked out of the dispensary for not having proper identification. Even though Cameron Smith was not inside the dispensary at the time, the suspect said he walked over “to fight him” and then ended up shooting Smith. “I was having a bad day, a very bad day… He got the ugly side of it.” KHQ
MassRoots CEO on the defensive. The CEO of the Denver-based cannabis tech company said that critics of the company “are missing the point: our business model is working.” The company recently came under fire for its $12 million acquisition of CannaRegs and promotional activity around its stock. Benzinga
Cannabis in Canada. Opposition politicians grilled Liberal cabinet members on their proposed legalization bill. They’re concerned about the ambitious legalization timeline, continued prohibition of edibles, and U.S. treatment of Canadians crossing the border. CBC News Prime minister Justin Trudeau said he won’t ask the U.S. to change its rules about marijuana at its borders. “I’m not going to tell Americans how to make decisions about who they let into their country.” Metro Aurora Cannabis shipped medical marijuana from Alberta to Germany. Edmonton Journal Canadian convenience store operator Couche-Tard is eyeing the marijuana industry. Bloomberg Niagara College will be the first to offer a certificate in production of commercial cannabis. CBC News
Medical marijuana as an agricultural product. Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture said it would classify medical cannabis as a farming sector. The move will give marijuana farmers access to “grants, water quotas, and training in crop growing.” Globes
Prince William: Should the U.K. legalize drugs? That’s what the Duke of Cambridge asked people recovering from addiction during a visit to a charity that provides substance abuse treatment. One woman responded that it was a good idea, and the money spent on prosecuting drug offenses would be better spent on treatment. “So prison doesn’t tackle the root cause of why someone is taking drugs?” he asked. “No, it just punishes what you’ve done, not the reasons why.” Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Home Office said that “this Government has no plans to decriminalize drug misuse.” Telegraph
Headline of the day. “Marijuana? Man claims he was hired outside a home improvement store to ‘water plants.’” The News Tribune
Word on the States
- In Kentucky, a judge dismissed a lawsuit that sought to overturn the state’s ban on medical marijuana.
- In Washington D.C., a councilmember introduced a bill that would allow access to medical marijuana without a doctor’s recommendation.
- In Pennsylvania, a group of mothers with epileptic children begged a law firm to drop a lawsuit that could shut down the MMJ program.
- In Colorado, a pro-cannabis Oregon congressman visited cannabis businesses in Pueblo. The organizer of Denver’s 4/20 rally appeals his 3-year ban.
- In California, a look at how enforcement could actually boost marijuana license applications.
- In Nevada, a look at the U.S. rep. known as the “Queen of Cannabis.”
- In Massachusetts, a holding company is helping an Israeli MMJ company expand its reach in the U.S. A Denver marijuana bus company hopes to expand to the state.
- In Illinois, the governor signed a civil asset forfeiture reform bill.
- In Maine, municipal officials will learn about marijuana legalization at a conference.
- In Utah, a poll found broad support for medical marijuana legalization, despite opposition from the LDS church.
- In Alaska, anti-marijuana ballot initiatives will likely boost voter turnout in Fairbanks’ October election.
- In Ohio, the state will begin accepting medical marijuana dispensary applications.
- In Michigan, two Detroit medical marijuana ballot measures will go before voters in November.
Word for Word
“Marijuana promises to bring a whole new round of profits to some tribes. But like the casinos, marijuana will be a tribal business — meaning that the money will go to the tribal government to be distributed like lottery winnings (or welfare payments, depending on your perspective). The kind of dependency that these tribal enterprises have created is not surprising… With few options for individuals to earn income, the tribes depend on these collective enterprises to survive. And the federal government continues to put incentives in place for these tribes to pursue loophole economies.” – Naomi Schaefer Riley for Bloomberg
“Consider the paradigm where if you have five pounds of marijuana and $100,000 in Virginia, you’re probably going to go to federal prison, federal being the key word there. If the same circumstances were met in Colorado, you’d be considered an entrepreneur. And that absolutely leads to unequal outcomes, which is unjust, and the federal government has refused to address that fact because of fear and lack of political will. People are more afraid of getting unelected than they are of doing what’s right. Jeff Sessions was spot on correct when he said “If you don’t like your laws, change them.” So what we’re trying to do is change the laws.” – U.S. rep. Tom Garrett (R-Va.), Virginia Review of Politics