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Friday, May 03, 2013

Psycho's Alive and Deadly As Usual

PAIN PILLS take another star. 

University of Oklahoma football player Austin Box died from an accidental mix of powerful drugs, according to the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's office.oma

A toxicology report performed on Box, who died May 19 after collapsing at a friend's house, revealed Box had five separate pain-killers and an anti-anxiety drug in his system at the time the 22-year-old football player died. The toxicology report said the University of Oklahoma player had the following drugs in his system: oxymorphone, morphine, hydrocodone, hyrdomorphone and oxycodone and the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam in his system.   The Oklahoma Medical Examiner's office said the probable cause of Box's death was pulmonary edema and aspiration pneumonia that likely was the result of mixed drug toxicity.

Box was found unconscious in an El Reno, Oklahoma home in May. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A 911 call to police from J.T. Cobble, a friend of Austin Box, told police, He takes pain pills, and he's not responding to me.

The parents of Austin Box released a statements that read:

There is no greater pain than the loss of a child, the statement from his parents said. The pain is intensified by knowing that the death of your child could have been prevented.

It is with much sadness; we look back and see that recently Austin had turned to other methods of managing his pain. Methods that we hope if others are employing, they will see this tragic accident as a message and think about the consequences. Our greatest regret is that Austin did not feel he could share his pain with those who loved him, and those he touched. He chose to suffer in silence rather than to feel he let someone down, or hurt his family.

Posted By: STS  First @ 11:20:02 AM


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Monday, April 29, 2013

Congress Proposes $10 Mil to Extablish POT Commission

HR 1635 IH




2 (a) IN GENERAL.—There are authorized to be appropriated $10,000,000 to carry out the purposes of this Act.

4 (b) LIMITATION ON USE.—Funds appropriated under this Act may not be used for international travel.


1ST SESSION H. R. 1635

To establish the National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy.


APRIL 18, 2013

Mr. COHEN (for himself, Mr. POLIS, Mr. BLUMENAUER, Mr. FARR, and Mr.MORAN) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committees on Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, Financial Services, and Foreign Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


To establish the National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy.

1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 


4 This Act may be cited as the ‘‘National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy Act of 2013’’.


7 Congress finds the following:

HR 1635 IH

1 (9) The Federal Government must reconcile its 2 prohibition of marijuana with the laws of the States 3 where marijuana is legal for some purposes and the likelihood that more States will follow in this path.


6 There is established a commission to be known as the 7 National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy (in this 8 Act referred to as the ‘‘Commission’’).


10 The Commission shall undertake a comprehensive re11 view of the state and efficacy of current policies of the 12 Federal Government toward marijuana in light of the 13 growing number of States in which marijuana is legal for  14 medicinal or personal use, including—

15 (1) how Federal policy should interact with 16 State laws that make marijuana legal for medicinal 17 or personal use;

18 (2) the cost of marijuana prohibition and poten19 tial State and Federal regulation of marijuana, as 20 well as the potential revenue generated by taxation

21 of marijuana; 22 (3) the impact of Federal banking and tax laws

23 on businesses operating in compliance with State 24 laws related to marijuana;

HR 1635 IH

1 (4) the health impacts, both benefits and risks,2 related to marijuana use, and in comparison to alcohol and tobacco use; 4 (5) the domestic and international public safety 5 effects of marijuana prohibition and the impact that 6 regulation and control of marijuana has on public 7 safety; 8 (6) the impact of marijuana prohibition on 9 criminal justice, including any racial disparities, and 10 the collateral consequences of prosecution for mari11 juana possession, including lack of access to hous12 ing, education, and employment; 13 (7) recommending the appropriate placement of 14 marijuana in the schedule of the Controlled Sub15 stances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.); and 16 (8) the effects of marijuana prohibition or fu 17 ture regulation and control of marijuana on inter18 national relationships and treaty obligations.


20 (a) NUMBER AND APPOINTMENT.—The Commission 21 shall be composed of 13 members appointed as follows: 22 (1) Five individuals appointed by the President, 23 one of whom the President shall designate as a co24 chair of the Commission. VerDate Mar 15 2010 00:18 Apr 26, 2013 Jkt 029200 PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 6652 

Posted By: STS  First @ 3:11:51 PM


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Friday, April 26, 2013

POT Losses = Colorado Medical Pot vs. Dish Network

Colorado appeals court upholds firing for off-duty marijuana use

Reporter-Denver Business Journal
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Colorado employers are within their legal rights to fire marijuana users, even though it’s legal under state law, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in a case about a former Dish Network Corp.employee terminated for using medical marijuana off-duty.

In a ruling that bears more weight in light of Colorado voters approving Amendment 64 legalizing marijuana use and possession by adults 21 years and older, the majority of the appellate court judges ruled Dish Network was justified in firing Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic, for using medical marijuana during his off-duty time.

The dismissal was (and is) allowed by Colorado law, the court ruled.

“Because activities conducted in Colorado, including medical marijuana use, are subject to both state and federal law ... to be ‘lawful’ in Colorado, it must be permitted by and not contrary to both state and federal law,” the ruling states.

It was signed by Chief Judge Janice Davidson and Judge Monica Márquez. Judge John Webb offered a dissenting opinion.

DBJ Special Report: Marijuana in Colorado

Though Dish (Nasdaq: DISH) won the ruling that the firing was upheld, it lost in its efforts to make Coats pay its attorneys fees.

Coats filed his claim under Colorado’s Lawful Activities Statute, arguing Dish had no cause to fire him because he only used marijuana in his off-duty time, never was under the influence at work and never possessed any on Dish Network’s premises.

“While we agree that the general purpose of [Colorado Lawful Activities Statute] is to keep an employer’s proverbial nose out of an employee’s off-site, off-hours business, ... we can find no legislative intent to extend employment protection to those engaged in activities that violate federal law,” the ruling states.

Posted By: STS  First @ 5:54:20 PM


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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Drug & Alcohol Database ClearningHouse by FMCSA

Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Proposal Goes to White House

By Oliver Patton

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is getting closer to proposing a rule that would create a national clearinghouse for drug and alcohol test results.

 The proposal, long sought by trucking interests, has been in the works since 2009. Tuesday the Office of Management and Budget reported that the proposal is in line for White House vetting, a process that could take several months.

 The industry will have a chance to comment on the proposal when it is published. Last year’s highway law gave the agency until October 2014 to post a final rule.

 Details are not available, but in general the proposal will call for carriers to query the clearinghouse when screening applicants for driving job, and annually after they are hired. The proposal is likely to permit third-party services to do the searches.

Posted By: STS  First @ 10:45:17 AM


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Monday, April 01, 2013

DUI Up RE: Med Marijuana & Prescriptions

Phoenix sees increase in drug-related 

DUI offenses

By Kelly Kleber* Our thanks to Jann Kornmann for bringing this to our attention.

As the percentage of alcohol-related driving under the influence offenses continue to decrease in Phoenix, the number of drug-related driving offenses have increased in recent years.  Driving under the influence (DUI) is the act of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs including illegal drugs, medical marijuana and prescription medication.

Phoenix Police Department Sgt. Trent Crump attributes the rise in DUI arrests to a combination of stricter enforcement and more people abusing illegal and prescription drugs.  Arizona has several hundred officers trained to recognize the symptoms of drug impairment, Crump said.  Officers are better trained now to pinpoint someone impaired by a substance other than alcohol, compared to only a few decades ago.

Alberto C. Gutier, Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) director, says the increase in drug-related DUI arrests can also be attributed to the availability of prescription drugs. 

Although the percentage of total DUI arrests has decreased, the number of drug-related DUI arrests has significantly increased, Gutier said.  The GOHS reported that the number of DUI arrests decreased by 13 percent in 2012 from 2011. Meanwhile, the number of drug-related DUI arrests increased by 12 percent, increasing the overall DUI arrests to 14 percent.

A significant factor contributing to the increase in total DUI arrests in Phoenix in 2011 was due to driving under the influence of drugs, which included arrests for driving under the influence of medical marijuana, illegal drugs, and prescription medications, even if the pills were dispensed legally.   One of the primary reasons for the increase in drug-related DUI arrests is because many people who are pulled over for this offense are not aware that driving under the influence of medical marijuana or prescription drugs is illegal, Crump said.

 • Kelly Kleber is a junior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


Posted By: STS  First @ 11:56:17 AM


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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Drug Use via Quest Positivity U.S. Map

A map of the U.S. depicting overall drug test positive rates

Posted By: STS  First @ 3:44:51 PM


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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Colorado Medical Pot vs. Dish Network

First legal challenge to marijuana amendment in Colorado

If it is legal to use marijuana on your own time, can your employer fire you for smoking it off duty? That’s a question that the Colorado Court of Appeals is being asked to answer in the case of Brandon Coats, the Denver Postreported on Monday.

Coats is a former Dish Network telephone operator and medical-marijuana patient who was fired after testing positive for pot, even though there was no evidence he was impaired on the job. Coats has MS and uses the drug to fight symptoms of the disease.

Colorado's Lawful Off-Duty Activities Statute prevents employers from firing workers because of the legal things those employees do outside the office — such as smoking cigarettes, for instance — as long as those activities do not conflict with the employees' work.

While Coats' case concerns medical-marijuana law, it is drawing extra attention after the passage of Amendment 64, which legalized marijuana use for everyone age 21 and older in Colorado. Coats says it is against state law to fire someone for doing something off duty that is legal.

The heart of the case is how to balance two rights: Making sure the workplace is safe and protecting employees’ rights under Amendment 64.

Previous cases have found that medical-marijuana patients do not have a right to cannabis under Colorado law. Coats' case, though, asks a different question: Whether or not the protection under the Lawful Off-Duty Activities Statute extends to marijuana use that is legal under Colorado law but illegal under federal law.

If the court rules against Coats, roughly 100,000 medical-marijuana patients in Colorado "would likely face immediate termination or become unemployable," said Coats' attorney, Michael Evans.

But attorneys for Dish Network argue that marijuana's federal status makes it ineligible for protection because all use of marijuana is illegal under federal law.

Vance Knapp, an attorney for the Denver firm Sherman & Howard who specializes in employment law, doesn't see language in Amendment 64 that said: "Nothing in this section is intended ... to affect the ability of employers to have policies restricting the use of marijuana by employees," as crystal clear when it comes to off-duty use. "I think there is some wiggle room," he said.

Still, Knapp expects the Court of Appeals — which has not indicated when it will rule on the case — to side with Dish Network.

"As long as it's illegal under federal law," he said of marijuana, "it cannot, by definition, be lawful."

Amendment 64, the initiative that legalized limited possession and retail sales of marijuana in Colorado, passed in 34 of Colorado’s 64 counties. Statewide, 1.36 million voters cast their ballot for the amendment.

Posted By: STS  First @ 2:47:35 PM


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Monday, December 03, 2012

Medical POT DOT say NO



Recently, some states passed initiatives to permit use of marijuana for so-called "recreational” purposes.

 We have had several inquiries about whether these state initiatives will have an impact upon the Department of Transportation’s longstanding regulation about the use of marijuana by safetysensitive transportation employees – pilots, school bus drivers, truck drivers, train engineers, subway operators, aircraft maintenance personnel, transit firearmed security personnel, ship captains, and pipeline emergency response personnel, among others.

 We want to make it perfectly clear that the state initiatives will have no bearing on the Department of Transportation’s regulated drug testing program. The Department of Transportation’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation – 49 CFR Part 40 – does not authorize the use of Schedule I drugs, including marijuana, for any reason.

 Therefore, Medical Review Officers (MROs) will not verify a drug test as negative based upon learning that the employee used "recreational marijuana” when states have passed "recreational marijuana” initiatives.

 We also firmly reiterate that an MRO will not verify a drug test negative based upon information that a physician recommended that the employee use "medical marijuana” when states have passed "medical marijuana” initiatives.

 It is important to note that marijuana remains a drug listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. It remains unacceptable for any safetysensitive employee subject to drug testing under the Department of Transportation’s drug testing regulations to use marijuana.

 We want to assure the traveling public that our transportation system is the safest it can possibly be.

 Jim L. Swart


Office of the Secretary of Transportation

Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance

Department of Transportation

December 3, 2012

Posted By: STS  First @ 12:25:32 PM


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Friday, November 09, 2012

NEW Recreational Marijuana laws

November 8, 2012



State and Single Issue Charts Updated to Reflect Marijuana Laws

New marijuana laws and how they affect workplace drug testing.   
On November 6, 2012, Massachusetts passed a new medical marijuana law.  The Massachusetts state law chart as well as the Medical Marijuana State by State chart have been updated to reflect this new legislation.

The same day, Colorado and Washington both passed recreational marijuana laws.  Each state's respective State Law Chart has been updated to show these changes.

Log on to to access these new charts!



Posted By: STS  First @ 12:14:47 PM


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Friday, June 22, 2012

Medical Grass in CA Out of the Garden:Ninth Circut

In a case recently decided by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, it was ruled that the ADA did not protect the use of medical marijuana. The plaintiffs obtain medical marijuana through collectives located in Costa Mesa and Lake Forest, California. These cities, however, have taken steps to close medical marijuana dispensing facilities operating within their boundaries. Concerned with the possible shutdown of the collectives they rely on to obtain medical marijuana, the plaintiffs brought this action in federal district course alleging that the cities' actions violate Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination in the provision of public services. In the ruling, it was stated "We also acknowledge that California has embraced marijuana as an effective treatment for individuals like the plaintiffs who face debilitating pain. Congress has made clear, however, that the ADA defines illegal drug use by reference to federal, rather than state, law, and federal law does not authorize the plaintiffs' medical marijuana use. We therefore necessarily conclude that the plaintiffs' medical marijuana use is not protected by the ADA." Read the full ruling  at DATIA

Posted By: STS  First @ 7:56:38 AM


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