Supreme Court May Decide on Colorado Marijuana Legalization Case

The U.S. Supreme Court may be nearing a decision on a case brought against Colorado by neighboring states Nebraska and Oklahoma. Both states argue that Colorado’s legalization of Marijuana has placed a burden on their criminal justice system by increasing the amount of marijuana flowing into their states form Colorado. These states argue that people have brought marijuana back to their states and their police departments cannot keep up with all of the arrests they are making. They also argue that the legalization conflicts with Federal law and therefore should be struck down. Because the case is a dispute between states it was filed directly to the Supreme Court. The Obama Administration has also urged the Court not to take the case.

Colorado, as well as several other states now, have legalized the recreational use of Marijuana (cannabis). This  was voted on by the people, not as a statute, but as a constitutional amendment. Striking down such an action flies in the face of the very idea of democracy. The argument that their criminal justice system is being overly burdened by marijuana offenders speaks more to the unjust nature of their possession laws. Instead of looking at the problem from a critical point of view and thinking about how the state can regulate marijuana, ensure safety for its citizens and not over burden them with costs, the states take a draconian stance that will ultimately leave them behind.

This office hopes that the Supreme Court will make the right decision and keep Marijuana legal. The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani specialize in the area of Criminal Defense. Call our Denver office today for a Free Consultation.

Cite: John Ingold, The Denver Post, 3/4/2016

Link: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_29596699/supreme-court-may-decide-colorado-marijuana-legalization-case

Fewer People Charged with Driving High

Since Colorado legalized cannabis (marijuana) in 2014, The Colorado State Patrol has kept records of those arrested for driving with THC (the pyscho-active chemical found in marijuana) in their system. In 2015, 665 of 4,546 those charged with Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol or Both had active THC in their system. That number is down 1.3% of the total from 2014. The State Patrol began tracking marijuana-specific citations in what is called “a new era of impaired driving.” One of the fears of legalization is that the number of impaired drivers would spike. This new evidence suggests that this may not be the case. Those caught Driving Under the Influence of THC face the same penalties as those driving under the influence of alcohol: hefty fines, a suspended license, alcohol treatment classes, community service and in many cases jail time. If you have been charged with a DUI or a DUID, you need the best and brightest to ensure your interests are represented at court. The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani specialize in DUI and DUID Defense. We offer flat rates, competitive pricing and high client satisfaction. Call our Denver office today for a Free Consultation and protect your rights.

Cite: Noelle Phillips, The Denver Post, 2/11/2016

Link: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_29504990/fewer-people-charged-colorado-driving-while-high-2015

New Colorado Law Allows for Medical Marijuana Use While on Probation

In the past week, Governor Hickenlooper signed into law a bill that would allow Medical Marijuana use for Colorado offenders who are on probation. The bill won a unanimous in the Colorado Legislature and goes into effect immediately. Medical Marijuana has been legal in Colorado for the past 15 years but was still illegal to use for those on probation. Marijuana is still illegal under Federal Law and probation did not allow the probationer to violate ANY law, city, state or federal. Now, those who have a valid prescription for medical cannabis can continue to use their medicine except in a few particular circumstances.  The Legislative analysts who conducted research for the bill didn’t know how many had been cited for violating probation as a result of Marijuana-related drug testing. If you have criminal charges and might be facing probation, don’t hesitate to contact The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC.

Source: HOUSE BILL 15-1267

*This information is not be construed as legal advice or to advocate the use of marijuana or any other controlled substance. Certain conditions may apply that would still keep a probationer from using medical marijuana without violating their probation. Please contact a licensed Colorado Attorney to explain the details of this law change.

 

Death by Spice

The synthetic Marijuana-imitator drug “Spice” has been linked to a surge in Hospital visits. “Spice” is a synthetic substance meant to mimic the effects of Marijuana. In many cases, the drug causes extreme feeling of anxiety and agitation and has a propensity to cause more serious physical ailments. Kendrick Vernell Sneed, a soldier at Fort Hood recent returned from West Africa and was hospitalized with symptoms of Ebola. The local police department ruled that his unfortunate death was actually caused by “synthetic cannabinoid intoxication.”

The drug is available legally in the U.S. due to loop holes in the drugs chemical composition and laws concerning controlled substances. Since the drug is not the exact chemical composition of Marijuana, it is technically legal.

In the article, the DEA notes their frustration in dealing with “Spice”. I have to ask, why bother? The most effective way to curb the usage of “Spice” would be to legalize Marijuana. There have been no recorded deaths due to a Marijuana overdose and is a safer option than these dangerous synthetic chemicals. People are going to get high, they might as well do so legally and in the safest way possible. If you have any questions about Colorado’s Marijuana Law, or any other aspects of Criminal Defense, don’t hesitate to contact Criminal Defense Attorney Steven Pisani.

 

Source: The New York Times, April 24, 2015. Author Alan Schwartz

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/25/health/surge-in-hospital-visits-linked-to-a-drug-called-spice-alarms-health-officials.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

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