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Courts, US public at odds over worker firings for ‘legal’ marijuana use

Christian Science Monitor – A worker in Colorado who undergoes a random drug test is found to test positive for marijuana use, but in less than a month pot-smoking will be legal there. Can a company with a zero-tolerance policy for illegal drug use still fire that worker, or should it instead adjust its policy on employee drug use? That’s just one of many questions that employers in both Colorado and the state of Washington are wrestling with as they adjust to new marijuana laws, which as of Jan. 1 will permit individuals to buy and possess up to an ounce of pot.

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Washington State Growers Roll The Dice On New Pot Licenses

NPR – Supporters of state-licensed pot share the concern that customers will turn to medical growers rather than state-licensed stores. There’s talk of legislation next year to level the playing field — to make the medical industry pay the same taxes and follow the same tight quality-control rules that apply to the new state-licensed businesses.

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I-502 threatens medical marijuana into extinction

Q-13 Fox – Some fear the legalization of marijuana in Washington could diminish the state’s medical marijuana industry significantly. Green Ambrosia, in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, is about to close down despite a profitable year. The store has marijuana edibles and merchandise and a loyal patient base, but it all comes down to location. But by the end of this weekend, Green Ambrosia will stop seeing green. When pot became legal in Washington it came with a lot of rules, specifically one that regulates how far these businesses can be from schools, churches, playgrounds and parks.

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Medical marijuana hearing scheduled for Nov. 13

The Seattle Times – The Washington state Liquor Control Board announced  it will hold a hearing on Nov. 13 to take public testimony on proposed changes to the state’s medical marijuana system. The hearing is scheduled for the Worthington Center at Saint Martin’s University , 5300 Pacific Ave., Lacey, WA 98503. The draft recommendations on which the Board will take comment cover  eight categories that include possession amounts, medical marijuana authorizing requirements, taxation and other topics. The Board will present  final recommendations to the Legislature by Jan. 1, 2014. It continues to take written testimony at medicalmarijuana@liq.wa.gov.

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Medical marijuana users fear having to buy state-approved pot

King 5 – Jeffrey Craighead has diabetes and multiple sclerosis. The Army veteran also suffers from post traumatic stress disorder. He says only one medicine seem to work for him: marijuana. He’s worried he won’t have access to his medicine soon, at least not legally. ”Facial twitches, crossed eyes, using a cane to walk,” said Craighead. “None of that exists for me anymore.”’ Craighead does not smoke traditional marijuana. From the back porch of his Tacoma apartment he extracts oils from the plant, creating a hash oil concentrate. It gives him the stronger dose he said he needs to control his ailments. Craighead is afraid he won’t get the same effect from the recreational pot the state is going to license for sale next year. Lawmakers asked three state agencies to submit a list of recommendations on how to regulate the medical marijuana industry. The Liquor Control Board, the Department of Health and the Department of Revenue released a list of potential recommendations this week. On the list: banning home grow operations and eliminating collective gardens, the clinics where most current medical marijuana users are able to select from a number of different strains of marijuana or pot-related items.

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Wash. Agencies recommend reining in medical pot

Associated Press – A state work group on Monday is due to release its recommendations for how to regulate Washington’s freewheeling medical marijuana industry — recommendations that could include reductions in how much pot patients can have, an end to the collective gardens that have supplied the sick and the not-so-sick, stricter requirements for obtaining medical marijuana authorizations, and taxes on medical pot. Representatives from the Liquor Control Board, Department of Revenue and Department of Health released their draft recommendations on Monday. An advocate for medical marijuana patients called the suggestions “ugly” and said they’d burden truly sick people who depend on pot.

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Medical marijuana activists fear for their industry in Washington state

Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal – After clearing an early pathway for marijuana legalization, medical cannabis activists are afraid their businesses could be swept under as Initiative 502 forces them to comply with new regulations designed with the recreational market in mind. The Seattle City Council voted last week to require medical and recreational marijuana businesses to apply for a marijuana license under I-502 regulations, which legalized recreational cannabis. The rule would place medical and recreational cannabis programs in the same channel, requiring them to obtain the same license, said Alison Holcomb, attorney for the state’s American Civil Liberties Union and author of I-502. “The government is trying to control medical marijuana and load (those businesses) onto the Titanic that is 502 (licensing) and set it asail,” said Steve Sarich, leader of the Cannabis Action Coalition. “That would eliminate medical and I-502 in one fell swoop.”

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