People who buy medical marijuana products might not be getting what they paid for, a study finds. And evidence remains elusive on benefits for most medical conditions, even though almost half the states have legalized medical marijuana.
The Colorado Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that companies can legally fire employees for using medical marijuana, even off duty.
The decision is based on the case of Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic who takes medical marijuana to control muscle spasms in his legs. Dish Network fired him from his job as a customer service representative in 2010 after he failed a random drug test. Coats then sued for unlawful termination.
The marijuana industry has a pesticide problem. Many commercial cannabis growers use chemicals to control bugs and mold. But the plant's legal status is unresolved.
The grow room at Medical MJ Supply in Fort Collins, Colo., has all the trappings of a modern marijuana cultivation facility: glowing yellow lights, plastic irrigation tubes, and rows of knee-high cannabis plants.
"We're seeing a crop that's probably in it third or fourth week," says Nick Dice, the owner.
The first thing you notice when you get on Willie Nelson's tour bus is a pungent aroma. Parked outside a gigantic casino and performance venue in Thackerville, Okla., Nelson offers NPR's David Greene a joint, which Greene declines. Nelson says he understands.
Originally published on Sun April 19, 2015 9:00 am
Public perceptions of marijuana have come a long way. Once a symbol of the counterculture, pot has become part of the culture.
In Colorado, it's part of everyday culture.
Colorado has allowed medical marijuana since 2001, but voters amended the state constitution in 2012 to allow private marijuana consumption for adults aged 21 or older. The first-ever stores to sell state-regulated recreational pot opened their doors on Jan. 1, 2014.
The law has raised serious concerns for parents and those working with kids to keep young people away from drugs.
Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 2:52 pm
Recreational marijuana has been legalized in four states, but that doesn't mean it's a tested consumer product. Some of those potent buds are covered in fungus while others contain traces of butane, according to an analysis of marijuana in Colorado.
In the "American Sniper" murder trial, prosecutors successfully countered Eddie Ray Routh's plea of not guilty by reason of insanity by saying that he just seemed psychotic because he was high. But scientists continue to argue over whether marijuana-induced psychosis is always short-lived or if there's a deeper connection at play.
Colorado has been under fire lately over Amendment 64. The state is currently being sued by neighboring states and a Washington, D.C. organization over recreational marijuana. Now, Colorado is being sued by its own sheriffs.
Six sheriffs from across Colorado and sheriffs and prosecutors from Nebraska and Kansas are plaintiffs in the suit. Governor John Hickenlooper is named as the defendant.
Nearly two-thirds of Millennials who identify as Republican support legalizing marijuana, while almost half of older GOP Gen-Xers do, according to a recently released Pew survey that could be an indicator of where the debate is heading.
Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 11:33 am
Alaska's voter initiative making marijuana legal takes effect Tuesday, placing Alaska alongside Colorado and Washington as the three U.S. states where recreational marijuana is legal. The new law means people over age 21 can consume small amounts of pot — if they can find it. It's still illegal to sell marijuana.
"You can still give people marijuana, but you can't buy it — or even barter for it," Alaska Public Media's Alexandra Gutierrez reports. "So, it's a pretty legally awkward spot. That probably won't stop people from acquiring it, though."
Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 9:21 am
Like many schools across Colorado, Arapahoe Ridge High School in Boulder has seen an increase in overall drug incidents since recreational marijuana became legal.
While public schools aren't required to report marijuana incidents separately from other drugs such as cocaine, evidence compiled by Rocky Mountain PBS I-News suggests more students are using marijuana.
Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 10:23 am
When it comes to marijuana laws, the Justice Department is now treating American Indian tribes the way it treats states that have legalized pot.
The move, announced in December, has inadvertently sparked interest in the marijuana business. While many see dollar signs, others worry about contributing to the impact substance abuse has already had on Indian Country.
Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 2:40 pm
The state of Colorado is facing new lawsuits over recreational marijuana legalization. The Washington D.C. based Safe Streets Alliance is suing the state in federal court to try and close down the industry.
"It is illegal under federal law to sell marijuana and in this country federal law is the supreme law of the land," said David Thompson, the lead attorney for the Safe Streets Alliance.
Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 10:20 am
Shortly after toking up, a lot of marijuana users find that there's one burning question on their minds: "Why am I so hungry?" Researchers have been probing different parts of the brain looking for the root cause of the marijuana munchies for years. Now, a team of neuroscientists report that they have stumbled onto a major clue buried in a cluster of neurons they thought was responsible for making you feel full.
A year after recreational marijuana stores opened, Colorado is still trying to determine the impact on youth who aren't legally allowed to use pot.
Recently released data shows that in the last school year drug incidents in Colorado middle and high schools reached a ten-year high and certain districts standout in the data including the Mesa County Valley School District.
Mesa County District officials say they are trying to address the problem through more education.
Last school year, Grand Junction High School reported 51 drugs cases to the state. The school had the highest number of drug incidents within Mesa County Valley School District 51 last year. It's also the largest school in the district.