Friday, November 29, 2013

Americans Agree, Marijuana and Alcohol NOT Grounds for Firing

A majority of Americans polled believe that it would be unacceptable for an employer to fire an employee for off-hours marijuana use in states where marijuana use is legal. The same percentage, nearly two-thirds, of people agreed that it would also be wrong to fire employees for off-the-job drinking.

However, when asked if it would be unacceptable for a company to fire an employee for off-hours marijuana use, excluding the clause about legality, 45 percent of those polled said it would be unacceptable compared with 32 percent who said it would be acceptable.

Republicans in the poll were most likely to be influenced by the issue of legality. Sixty-two percent, compared to twenty-seven percent of Republicans stated that it would be unacceptable to fire an employee for off-hours marijuana use if Marijuana was legal. If marijuana was not legal, only 32 percent of Republicans said it would be unacceptable to fire an employee for marijuana use, compared to 41 percent who said it would be acceptable.

Age played a role in the numbers as well. Fifty-one percent of respondents under age thirty said that off-the-job marijuana use should not be a firing offense, regardless of whether or not marijuana use was legalized, compared with 30 percent saying it was a legitimate offense. At 73 percent, the 45-64 year-old age group was the most likely to say such a firing is unacceptable. Only 18 percent of this age group agreed that firing an employee for off-hours marijuana use was acceptable.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Feds Raid Colorado Marijuana Dispensaries

On Thursday, federal agents raided numerous marijuana dispensaries and growing sites in Colorado and confiscated plants and cartons of cannabis-infused drinks. These federal raids occurred just weeks before Colorado's marijuana retailers were slated to open their doors.

At the center of this raid, is a Miami man who was busted for trying to fence half-million dollars in jewels. Juan Guardarrama was named as one of the ten target subjects in the DEA raids last week. In the past, Guardarrama has been arrested for pulling a gun on a driver, extortion, illegal bookmaking, and a slew of other offenses.

While Guardarrama is originally from Florida, he moved to Denver after his arrest in Miami. There he was arrested this past February for jewel thievery and many believe he has worked with drug cartels in Colombia. At the moment, his exact involvement in the drug raids is unclear.

In August, the Justice Department went on record saying that they would not interfere with states' rights to legalize marijuana, but warned that they would not hesitate if businesses broke state or federal laws. This included keeping children away from marijuana, not developing black markets, and keeping marijuana off of federal land.

Federal agents raided more than a dozen dispensaries and cultivation facilities in Denver alone and at least two private residences. While they wouldn't give specific reasons for the raids, they did say that one of the eight federal concerns around marijuana was violated. Several of those concerns revolve around illegal trafficking and money laundering.

"While the investigation is ongoing, there are strong indications that more than one of the eight federal prosecution priorities identified in the Department of Justice's August guidance memo are potentially implicated."
                           --Jeff Dorschner, U.S. Department of Justice

On Aug. 29, 2013, the U.S. Justice Department issued a memo revealing the federal government would not stand in the way of states' rights to legalize marijuana. The memo also warned, however, that the federal government would still aggressively enforce eight areas of concern surrounding legalized marijuana:

• Preventing distribution to minors
• Preventing marijuana revenue from going to criminal enterprises
• Preventing diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal to states where it is not
• Preventing state-authorized marijuana activity from being to hide trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity
• Preventing violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana
• Preventing drugged driving
• Preventing the growing of marijuana on public lands
• Preventing marijuana possession on federal property