Discontinuation of ASA's Weekly Media Summaries
Dear ASA Supporter,
This week's media summary will be the last that ASA produces in this form. We know many of you have enjoyed these news summaries, and we intend to keep you updated in other ways. Here are three ways to stay informed:
Continue to look for special announcements and news updates on the ASA national email list. For state specific news, please sign up for one of our state or local announcement lists.
Check the Online Media Buzz section of ASA's discussion forums, where users and staff post news articles and press releases daily. Read news analysis and more from ASA staff and guests on ASA's blog, Medical Cannabis: Voices from the Frontlines.
ASA would like to thank William Dolphin, who has compiled the news and provided analysis of important medical cannabis stories weekly for the past several years.
If you have questions or comments about this change, feel free to contact me at Rebecca@SafeAccessNow.org.
Chief of Staff
Americans for Safe Access
ASA ACTION: Fighting for Patients’ Right to Work
In a split decision on a workers’ rights case argued by ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford, the California Supreme Court decided this week that employers can fire workers for testing positive for marijuana use, even in the case of those who use it for medical reasons on the advice of a physician. The 5-2 ruling came despite a brief filed by all the authors of the California legislature’s Medical Marijuana Program Act (SB420), saying that it had been their intent to extend such civil protections to medical marijuana patients. One of the authors, Assemblyman Mark Leno, has taken immediate action to submit a new bill, sponsored by ASA, that would specify workplace protections for patients.
Calif. Firms Can Fire Medical Marijuana Users
by Karl Vick, Washington Post
The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that employers can fire workers who test positive for marijuana even if they have a note from a doctor recommending its use for medical reasons. Kris Hermes, spokesman for Americans for Safe Access, the Oakland advocacy group that argued the case, said advocates would go back to the state legislature to seek more explicit protections.
Medical marijuana users can be fired: Calif. court
by Adam Tanner, Reuters
Companies can fire employees who use marijuana for medical reasons even if California law allows such use because federal law prohibits it, the state's Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. "We remain hopeful that the legislature will come to the aid of patients by preventing the sort of discrimination that is likely to occur from such a decision," said Joe Elford, chief counsel of Americans for Safe Access.
Court: Workers can be fired for using medical marijuana
Employers can fire workers found to have used medical marijuana that was legally prescribed, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday in another setback for California in its increasingly rancorous clash with federal law over medical pot use. The nonprofit marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, which represented Ross, estimates that 300,000 Americans use medical marijuana.
California Justices Put Limits on Medical Marijuana Law
by Jesse McKinley, New York Times
In the latest setback for advocates of medical marijuana in California, the State Supreme Court ruled Thursday that employers were within their rights to fire employees who fail drug tests.
Workers can be fired for using medical pot off duty, court rules
by Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times
The California Supreme Court weakened the effect of the state's beleaguered medical marijuana law, ruling Thursday that employers may fire workers for using physician-recommended marijuana while off duty, even if it did not hurt their job performance. Joseph D. Elford, chief counsel of Americans for Safe Access, which argued the case on behalf of Ross, predicted the ruling would spark an increase in employer sanctions against medical marijuana users.
Medical Marijuana and Workers' Rights
by Bonnie Goldstein, Slate
Veteran Gary Ross was badly injured while serving in the U.S. Air Force and became eligible for government disability benefits. He suffers chronic pain, which is eased by physician-recommended marijuana treatment. In 2001, Sacramento-based RagingWire Telecommunications hired Ross, but when his pre-employment drug test came back positive for THC, the company quickly fired him. Ross sued, arguing that he was not consuming marijuana on the job and that state fair-employment laws required "reasonable accommodation" for his disability.
Calif. Supreme Court Gives Bosses Leeway to Fire Medical Pot Users
by Matthew Hirsch, The Recorder
Medical marijuana users in California may have to choose between smoking their pot and keeping their jobs. In a 5-2 decision Thursday, the California Supreme Court backed RagingWire Telecommunications Inc. in its firing of plaintiff Gary Ross, denying him relief despite the state's Compassionate Use Act of 1996. Americans for Safe Access chief counsel Joseph Elford, who argued the case for Ross, said he was "extremely disappointed" in Thursday's ruling.
Medical pot rights don't apply at work, court says
by Crystal Carreon, Sacramento Bee
In the latest blow to medical marijuana rights, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that employers can fire workers who test positive for the drug, even when it is used under a physician's advice.
Workers can be fired for using medical pot, state Supreme Court rules
by Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle
An employee who uses medical marijuana at home can be fired for testing positive for the drug at work, the California Supreme Court ruled today.
Medical marijuana takes a hit
United Press International
The California Supreme Court in a 5-2 ruling said employers can fire workers who are legally prescribed marijuana for illness.
Medical pot users need job protection
EDITORIAL, Honolulu Star-Bulletin
THE latest threat to ailing people who use doctor-recommended marijuana to ease their pain comes from a strange ruling by the California Supreme Court. The court ruled that employers may fire workers for using marijuana for medical purposes, which will prompt legislation to undo the ruling's damage. As one of 11 states that have legalized medical use of cannabis, Hawaii should enact similar workplace protections.
CALIFORNIA: City Officials React to DEA Raids
DEA raids in California have city officials from Los Angeles to San Francisco looking for ways to protect their communities. The city of Berkeley is considering a plan to step in on behalf of patients, but they would not be the first. Santa Cruz city officials distributed medical cannabis to patients at City Hall in the wake of a DEA raid on a patient collective there in 2002.
City considers aiding marijuana patients
by Doug Oakley, Contra Costa Times
Berkeley is considering a plan to help get medical marijuana to patients if the Drug Enforcement Administration shuts down any of the city-permitted cannabis clubs. The resolution before the City Council on Tuesday night declares Berkeley a sanctuary for medical marijuana users and distributors, and says "the city itself shall ensure a continuum of access to medical marijuana" if the DEA moves in.
CALIFORNIA: Senior Citizens Prosecuted for Medical Cultivation
Sheriff’s deputies were looking for someone else, but when they found medical marijuana growing on the property of an elderly couple, Richard and JoAnn McCabe, ages 65 and 74 respectively, they uprooted the plants and arrested them. The McCabes have vowed to fight, even though they cannot afford an attorney. Community members are starting a fundraising campaign on their behalf.
Medical Marijuana Growers in High Desert Fighting Charges
by Jason Sloss, KESQ ABC TV (Palms Springs)
An older couple in the high desert will appear in court after being arrested for growing and possessing of marijuana.
OREGON: Change in Medical Marijuana Law Sought
An Oregon attorney is seeking to make his state’s medical marijuana law more restrictive. Already considered one of the more limited such laws, if the changes are put into effect patients would be limited to two ounces and three plants. There is no provision for the legal buying or selling of cannabis. Advocates say the proposal has been advanced in a secretive fashion, but state hearings are scheduled.
Sweeping Changes to Medical Marijuana from Lawyer for Federal Contractor?
by Tim King, Columnist, Salem-News (OR)
Advocates for medical marijuana say a lawyer who often represents huge federal contractors is seeking to radically modify Oregon's Medical Marijuana Program.
DISPENSARIES: Ensuring Safe Access
Mendocino County has been a leader in carefully considering the needs of medical marijuana patients in the community, being an early adopter of regulations to oversee the operation of medical cannabis dispensaries there. Officials have just rejected an effort to impose additional limits or ban dispensaries altogether, noting that there have been no problems with the three currently operating in the county. This experience has been mirrored in other communities across the state, as outlined in ASA’s report on the issue, which can be downloaded at www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/DispensaryReport.
Supes punt on pot dispensary regs
by Mike A'Dair, Willits News (CA)
Supervisors agreed to take no action on two draft ordinances that would have regulated medical marijuana dispensaries in Mendocino County.
Operator says business is strong at Riverside medical marijuana clinic
by Gregor McGavin, Press-Enterprise (CA)
One week after the city of Riverside's first medical marijuana clinic opened its doors, staff and patients alike say business is coming along well.
ASA BLOG: Comments from ASA Staff and Guests
ASA's blog is helping keep activists informed on the issues and events affecting medical marijuana patients and providers.
Sometimes the Court Gets It Wrong
by Joe Elford
It was a very cold day today in the Bay Area. It was cold in San Francisco and, unusually, colder still in Oakland. Far colder was the California Supreme Court’s decision in Ross v. Ragingwire. . . .
Israel & Canada Move Ahead, while US Lags Behind in Medical Marijuana Research
by Rebecca Saltzman
Earlier this month, there were two exciting developments for medical cannabis internationally.
California Weekly Round Up
by Sonnet Seeborg Gabbard
California Court Rules Against Patients’ Rights- Assemblyman Mark Leno and ASA Respond with Legislation; San Francisco Democratic Committee Calls on Mayor Newsom to Take a Stand
MORE ABOUT AMERICANS FOR SAFE ACCESS
Find out about ASA at http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org. More medical marijuana news summaries can be seen at http://www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/News.