Although 33 U.S. states have now legalized medical marijuana, many states still allow employers to discriminate against cannabis users, forcing many patients to choose between their medicine or their jobs.
Last week, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that any employer in the state can now refuse to hire a job applicant – or fire an at-will employee – that uses medical marijuana. The ruling came down in the case of a legal medical marijuana patient who was denied a job after she tested positive for THC.
The Court of Appeals ruled that the state’s medical marijuana law does not protect “the medical use of marijuana in all circumstances.” This ruling allows employers to enforce zero-tolerance workplace drug policies, even against legal medical cannabis users.
Michigan voters legalized full adult cannabis use last year, but even this new law does not offer employment protections for pot users. The ballot measure specifically states that employers are still allowed to discipline, fire, or refuse to hire employees who violate their workplace drug policies.
And now for some good news…
This Monday, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office announced that it will expunge thousands of former cannabis convictions dating back to the 1970s.
Since Proposition 64 passed in 2016, Californians have been able to apply to have minor pot convictions cleared from their criminal records – but the time, money, and effort involved in this process have discouraged many of them from doing so.
Last January, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced that his office would automatically identify and clear all eligible convictions. The process of manually identifying these convictions was also slow and burdensome, though, so Gascón partnered with nonprofit technology group Code for America to speed the process along.
Using the company’s new “Clear My Record” technology, the DA’s office has now identified 8,132 eligible convictions, which will soon be automatically sealed. Fourteen other California counties are also using this new technology to help clear former pot convictions, and Code for America may soon make this software available in other states.
It’s hard to find a portrayal of a cannabis user in mainstream media that doesn’t include a stoner stuffing their face with junk food. Most people accept it as a given that pot causes the munchies, but the scientific community has so far been unable to determine whether this phenomenon is fact or fiction.
Two researchers from the University of Connecticut and Georgia State University recently conducted a study to get to the bottom of this issue. In order to test their hypothesis, the researchers examined retail scanner data from 2006 to 2016 to see if sales of junk food increased immediately after states legalized recreational pot use.
The study reports “that legalizing recreational marijuana leads to an increase in sales of junk food.” Specifically, the researchers found that after pot was legalized, monthly sales of ice cream increased by 3.1%, cookies increased by 4.1%, and chips rose by 5.3%.
Interestingly, the study also notes that sales of ice cream and chips began to decline several months after pot became legal, but cookie sales stayed strong.
Which goes to show that the Girl Scouts who decided to sell cookies outside pot shops had the right idea!
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