Articles Posted in Marijuana Laws

The U.S. House of Representatives still has the power to shock and it did so recently when it voted to block the federal government from interfering with states that permit use of medical marijuana.

Democrats, as well as libertarian-minded and moderate Republicans, banded together to pass the amendment to the bill funding the Justice Department’s budget by a 219-189 vote. All-in-all 49 Republicans broke rank to vote in favor of the provision (4 out of 5 Republicans opposed the amendment).

Nearly half the states in the union have legalized use of marijuana for medical purposes. However, the federal government still considers the sale, distribution and use of the drug illegal. This dichotomy in state law versus federal law has been a conundrum for authorities since California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana use.

NJ Marijuana DefenseA veteran volunteer firefighter for the Leonia Fire Department was told to turn his gear in after a background check revealed that he had been convicted on a marijuana charge in 1997.

The fire lieutenant, who has 30 years of service as a volunteer firefighter, was the first firefighter ousted from the department in the wake of Borough Council-mandated policy approved last fall that required all firefighters to undergo background checks. The veteran firefighter had the right to appeal his ouster before the council, but chose instead to resign from the department.

Asked to comment David Schmidt, (888) 847-2529, of Lubiner, Schmidt & Palumbo stated that the dismissal of this fire fighter after years of service highlights the importance taking marijuana cases seriously and of seeking expungement if possible.

In a previous blog, the criminal defense attorneys at Lubiner, Schmidt & Palumbo, LLC, available for no-cost consultations at (888) 847-2529, discussed the status of the new medical marijuana program in New Jersey and the recent changes in the law that have affected it. While those changes are proceeding in measured steps, there is at least one New Jersey politician who thinks the state needs to take a leap and legalize the sale and possession of marijuana altogether.

Citing the state’s war on drugs as “a miserable failure,” State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union), who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he plans to introduce a bill that would legalize pot in the state. Currently, Washington and Colorado are the only two states in the union that have legalized the sale of marijuana for recreational use. Scutari stated that legalizing the sale and possession of marijuana makes sense because police are dedicating valuable resources to a losing battle and that lives are being ruined because of minor drug offense convictions.

He expects an uphill battle.