2015: The Year In Review – NORML’s Top 10 Events That Shaped Marijuana Policy

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

2015: The Year In Review - NORML's Top 10 Events That Shaped Marijuana Policy

#1 Congress Reauthorizes Medical Marijuana Protections
Members of Congress approved language in the fiscal year 2016 omnibus spending bill that continues to limit the federal government from taking punitive action against state-licensed individuals or operations that are acting are in full compliance with the medical marijuana laws of their states. The provisions reauthorize Section 538 of the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015, which states, "None of the funds made available in this act to the Department of Justice may be used … to prevent … states … from implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana." Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/12/17/congress-omnibus-spending-bill-reauthorizes-medical-marijuana-protections.

#2 Federal Judge Upholds Marijuana’s Schedule I Status
A federal judge in April rejected a motion challenging the constitutionality of cannabis’ classification as a Schedule I prohibited substance. "At some point in time, a court may decide this status to be unconstitutional," Judge Kimberly Mueller said from the bench. "But this is not the court and not the time." Judge Meuller had presided over five days of hearings in October 2014 in a challenge brought by members of the NORML Legal Committee. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/04/16/federal-judge-upholds-marijuana-s-schedule-i-status.

#3 Medical Cannabis Access Associated With Less Opioid Abuse
States that permit qualified patients to access medical marijuana via dispensaries possess lower rates of opioid addiction and overdose deaths, according to a study published in July by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a non-partisan think-tank. The findings mirror those published in 2014 in The Journal of the American Medical Association concluding, "States with medical cannabis laws had a 24.8 percent lower mean annual opioid overdose mortality rate compared with states without medical cannabis laws." Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/07/16/study-medical-cannabis-access-associated-with-reduced-opioid-abuse.

#4 DC Depenalizes Marijuana; Arrests Plummet
Despite threats from members of Congress, District officials implemented voter-approved legislation earlier this year eliminating penalties associated with the possession and cultivation of personal use quantities of marijuana by adults. Following the law’s implementation, marijuana-related arrests in the nation’s capital fell 99 percent. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/12/04/cities-see-major-decline-in-marijuana-possession-arrests.

#5 Marijuana Law Changes Don’t Change Youth Use, Attitudes
Rates of youth marijuana use are unaffected by changing laws, according to data published in July in The American Journal of drug and Alcohol Abuse. Investigators evaluated trends in young people’s attitudes toward cannabis and their use of the substance during the years 2002 to 2013 – a time period where 14 states enacted laws legalizing the medical use of the plant, and two states approved its recreational use by adults. "Our results may suggest that recent changes in public policy, including the decriminalization, medicalization, and legalization of marijuana in cities and states across the country, have not resulted in more use or greater approval of marijuana use among younger adolescents," researchers reported. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/07/16/study-changes-in-state-marijuana-laws-are-not-associated-with-greater-use-or-acceptance-by-young-people.

#6 Gallup Poll: More Americans Than Ever Say Marijuana Should Be Legal
Fifty-eight percent of Americans believe that "the use of marijuana should be made legal," according to nationwide survey data released in October by Gallup pollsters. The percentage ties the highest level of support ever reported by Gallup, which has been measuring Americans’ attitudes toward cannabis since the late 1960s. The percentage is more than twice the level of support reported in the mid-1990s. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/10/22/gallup-support-for-legalizing-marijuana-at-historic-high-2.

#7 Study: Marijuana Use Not Associated With Changes In Brain Morphology
Marijuana use is not associated with structural changes in the brain, according to imaging data published in January in The Journal of Neuroscience. Investigators assessed brain morphology in both daily adult and adolescent cannabis users compared to non-users. They found "no statistically significant differences … between daily users and nonusers on volume or shape in the regions of interest" after researchers controlled for participants’ use of alcohol. "[T]he results indicate that, when carefully controlling for alcohol use, gender, age, and other variables, there is no association between marijuana use and standard volumetric or shape measurements of subcortical structures," researchers reported. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/02/19/study-marijuana-use-not-associated-with-previously-reported-changes-in-brain-morphology.

#8 Marijuana Consumers Less Likely To Be Obese, Suffer Diabetes Risk
Those who consume cannabis are 50 percent less likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome as compared to those who do not, according to findings published in November in The American Journal of Medicine. Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors, including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and abdominal fat, which are linked to increased risk of heart disease and adult onset diabetes, among other serious health consequences. The findings are similar to those of previous studies reporting that those who use cannabis are less likely to be obese or suffer from diabetes. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/11/19/study-marijuana-consumers-less-likely-to-suffer-from-metabolic-syndrome.

#9 NHTSA: THC-Positive Drivers Don’t Possesses Elevated Crash Risk
Drivers who test positive for the presence of THC in their blood are no more likely to be involved in motor vehicle crashes than are drug-free drivers, according to a case-control study released in February by the United States National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. Authors reported that drivers who tested positive for the presence of THC possessed an unadjusted, elevated risk of accident of 25 percent (Odds Ratio=1.25) compared to controls (drivers who tested negative for any drug or alcohol). However, this elevated risk became insignificant (OR=1.05) after investigators adjusted for demographic variables, such as the drivers’ age and gender. The study is the largest of its kind ever conducted in the United States. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/02/12/feds-thc-positive-drivers-no-more-likely-to-be-involved-in-motor-vehicle-crashes.

#10 Legal Marijuana States Collect Over $200 Million In New Tax Revenue
Taxes on the legal production and sale of cannabis in the states of Colorado and Washington have yielded over $200 million in new revenue since going into effect in 2014, according to calculations reported by The Huffington Post in September. Colorado collected more than $117 million dollars from marijuana sales while Washington collected over $83 million. Cannabis sales commenced in Oregon in on October 1, 2015 and have yet to begin in Alaska. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/09/03/legal-marijuana-states-collect-over-200-million-in-new-tax-revenue.

CONTINUE READING…

2015: The Year In Review – NORML's Top 10 Events That Shaped Marijuana Policy

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

2015: The Year In Review - NORML's Top 10 Events That Shaped Marijuana Policy

#1 Congress Reauthorizes Medical Marijuana Protections
Members of Congress approved language in the fiscal year 2016 omnibus spending bill that continues to limit the federal government from taking punitive action against state-licensed individuals or operations that are acting are in full compliance with the medical marijuana laws of their states. The provisions reauthorize Section 538 of the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015, which states, "None of the funds made available in this act to the Department of Justice may be used … to prevent … states … from implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana." Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/12/17/congress-omnibus-spending-bill-reauthorizes-medical-marijuana-protections.

#2 Federal Judge Upholds Marijuana’s Schedule I Status
A federal judge in April rejected a motion challenging the constitutionality of cannabis’ classification as a Schedule I prohibited substance. "At some point in time, a court may decide this status to be unconstitutional," Judge Kimberly Mueller said from the bench. "But this is not the court and not the time." Judge Meuller had presided over five days of hearings in October 2014 in a challenge brought by members of the NORML Legal Committee. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/04/16/federal-judge-upholds-marijuana-s-schedule-i-status.

#3 Medical Cannabis Access Associated With Less Opioid Abuse
States that permit qualified patients to access medical marijuana via dispensaries possess lower rates of opioid addiction and overdose deaths, according to a study published in July by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a non-partisan think-tank. The findings mirror those published in 2014 in The Journal of the American Medical Association concluding, "States with medical cannabis laws had a 24.8 percent lower mean annual opioid overdose mortality rate compared with states without medical cannabis laws." Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/07/16/study-medical-cannabis-access-associated-with-reduced-opioid-abuse.

#4 DC Depenalizes Marijuana; Arrests Plummet
Despite threats from members of Congress, District officials implemented voter-approved legislation earlier this year eliminating penalties associated with the possession and cultivation of personal use quantities of marijuana by adults. Following the law’s implementation, marijuana-related arrests in the nation’s capital fell 99 percent. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/12/04/cities-see-major-decline-in-marijuana-possession-arrests.

#5 Marijuana Law Changes Don’t Change Youth Use, Attitudes
Rates of youth marijuana use are unaffected by changing laws, according to data published in July in The American Journal of drug and Alcohol Abuse. Investigators evaluated trends in young people’s attitudes toward cannabis and their use of the substance during the years 2002 to 2013 – a time period where 14 states enacted laws legalizing the medical use of the plant, and two states approved its recreational use by adults. "Our results may suggest that recent changes in public policy, including the decriminalization, medicalization, and legalization of marijuana in cities and states across the country, have not resulted in more use or greater approval of marijuana use among younger adolescents," researchers reported. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/07/16/study-changes-in-state-marijuana-laws-are-not-associated-with-greater-use-or-acceptance-by-young-people.

#6 Gallup Poll: More Americans Than Ever Say Marijuana Should Be Legal
Fifty-eight percent of Americans believe that "the use of marijuana should be made legal," according to nationwide survey data released in October by Gallup pollsters. The percentage ties the highest level of support ever reported by Gallup, which has been measuring Americans’ attitudes toward cannabis since the late 1960s. The percentage is more than twice the level of support reported in the mid-1990s. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/10/22/gallup-support-for-legalizing-marijuana-at-historic-high-2.

#7 Study: Marijuana Use Not Associated With Changes In Brain Morphology
Marijuana use is not associated with structural changes in the brain, according to imaging data published in January in The Journal of Neuroscience. Investigators assessed brain morphology in both daily adult and adolescent cannabis users compared to non-users. They found "no statistically significant differences … between daily users and nonusers on volume or shape in the regions of interest" after researchers controlled for participants’ use of alcohol. "[T]he results indicate that, when carefully controlling for alcohol use, gender, age, and other variables, there is no association between marijuana use and standard volumetric or shape measurements of subcortical structures," researchers reported. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/02/19/study-marijuana-use-not-associated-with-previously-reported-changes-in-brain-morphology.

#8 Marijuana Consumers Less Likely To Be Obese, Suffer Diabetes Risk
Those who consume cannabis are 50 percent less likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome as compared to those who do not, according to findings published in November in The American Journal of Medicine. Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors, including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and abdominal fat, which are linked to increased risk of heart disease and adult onset diabetes, among other serious health consequences. The findings are similar to those of previous studies reporting that those who use cannabis are less likely to be obese or suffer from diabetes. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/11/19/study-marijuana-consumers-less-likely-to-suffer-from-metabolic-syndrome.

#9 NHTSA: THC-Positive Drivers Don’t Possesses Elevated Crash Risk
Drivers who test positive for the presence of THC in their blood are no more likely to be involved in motor vehicle crashes than are drug-free drivers, according to a case-control study released in February by the United States National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. Authors reported that drivers who tested positive for the presence of TH
C possessed an unadjusted, elevated risk of accident of 25 percent (Odds Ratio=1.25) compared to controls (drivers who tested negative for any drug or alcohol). However, this elevated risk became insignificant (OR=1.05) after investigators adjusted for demographic variables, such as the drivers’ age and gender. The study is the largest of its kind ever conducted in the United States. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/02/12/feds-thc-positive-drivers-no-more-likely-to-be-involved-in-motor-vehicle-crashes.

#10 Legal Marijuana States Collect Over $200 Million In New Tax Revenue
Taxes on the legal production and sale of cannabis in the states of Colorado and Washington have yielded over $200 million in new revenue since going into effect in 2014, according to calculations reported by The Huffington Post in September. Colorado collected more than $117 million dollars from marijuana sales while Washington collected over $83 million. Cannabis sales commenced in Oregon in on October 1, 2015 and have yet to begin in Alaska. Read the full story at: http://norml.org/news/2015/09/03/legal-marijuana-states-collect-over-200-million-in-new-tax-revenue.

CONTINUE READING…

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 62,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

If Kentucky wants to pass br 161 “the Cannabis Freedom Act”, you must do this now…

TREELeft:  Link to USMjParty Kentucky

Above: Link to Facebook Page of the "Kentucky Cannabis Freedom Coalition"

Because of the "Origination Clause" in the U.S. Constitution there must be a Representative to submit a "Companion Bill" in order for it to move forward because this clause says that all bills for raising revenue must start in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as in the case of other bills.

(From Wikipedia) The Origination Clause, also known as the Revenue Clause, is as follows:

All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

COMPANION BILL – A bill which is identical to a bill having been introduced in the opposite house.

THEREFORE,

What we need to do right now is to find a Representative who is willing to back up Sen. Perry B. Clark’s BR 161 with a "COMPANION BILL" in order to be in coordination with the "Constitution".

Please write your Representative an email or letter asking them to get behind Sen. Perry B. Clark’s BR 161 and provide a "Companion Bill" as soon as possible because the Legislative Session (calendar link here) starts on January 5th, 2016 and January 8th, is the deadline for prefiled House Bills.

The LINKS you will need are listed here (just click on picture):

LINK to KY BR 161

KyLRC 12.17.15 Ky Cannabis Freedom Act homepage

LINK to KY Legislator’s Email Addresses:  (Please note that some of the Representatives/Senators have direct email links, and some of them can be copied/pasted into your email program). 

KY Legislative Email Addresses

Also, of note, this is a little more time consuming, but worth it, I believe –  When I wrote my "Email" I sent it to my individual Representative, who is Johnny Bell – in Glasgow, KY, but I also copied the email to ALL of the Kentucky Senators as well as the Representatives, so that THEY ALL would be able to see the letter I had written.

Here is the LINK to the 2016 Legislative Calendar:

KY 2016 Regular Session Legislative Calendar

As well, anyone who may have a printer, and postage money available should ideally send individual letters through the U.S. Postal Service to the Representatives given addresses.  The more "paper" we can send them, the better they will hear us speaking!

PHONE CALL’s as well will be a great help!  Please back up your letter or email with a phone call to your Representative to reiterate the issue of BR 161 !!!

PLEASE DO NOT LET THIS BILL DIE!   KEEP IT GOING WITH AN EMAIL AND A PHONE CALL TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TODAY!

If Kentucky wants to pass br 161 "the Cannabis Freedom Act", you must do this now…

TREELeft:  Link to USMjParty Kentucky
Above: Link to Facebook Page of the “Kentucky Cannabis Freedom Coalition”
Because of the “Origination Clause” in the U.S. Constitution there must be a Representative to submit a “Companion Bill” in order for it to move forward because this clause says that all bills for raising revenue must start in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as in the case of other bills.
(From Wikipedia) The Origination Clause, also known as the Revenue Clause, is as follows:

All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

COMPANION BILL – A bill which is identical to a bill having been introduced in the opposite house.

THEREFORE,

What we need to do right now is to find a Representative who is willing to back up Sen. Perry B. Clark’s BR 161 with a “COMPANION BILL” in order to be in coordination with the “Constitution”.
Please write your Representative an email or letter asking them to get behind Sen. Perry B. Clark’s BR 161 and provide a “Companion Bill” as soon as possible because the Legislative Session (calendar link here) starts on January 5th, 2016 and January 8th, is the deadline for prefiled House Bills.
The LINKS you will need are listed here (just click on picture):
LINK to KY BR 161
KyLRC 12.17.15 Ky Cannabis Freedom Act homepage
LINK to KY Legislator’s Email Addresses:  (Please note that some of the Representatives/Senators have direct email links, and some of them can be copied/pasted into your email program).
KY Legislative Email Addresses
Also, of note, this is a little more time consuming, but worth it, I believe —  When I wrote my “Email” I sent it to my individual Representative, who is Johnny Bell – in Glasgow, KY, but I also copied the email to ALL of the Kentucky Senators as well as the Representatives, so that THEY ALL would be able to see the letter I had written.
Here is the LINK to the 2016 Legislative Calendar:
KY 2016 Regular Session Legislative Calendar
As well, anyone who may have a printer, and postage money available should ideally send individual letters through the U.S. Postal Service to the Representatives given addresses.  The more “paper” we can send them, the better they will hear us speaking!
PHONE CALL’s as well will be a great help!  Please back up your letter or email with a phone call to your Representative to reiterate the issue of BR 161 !!!
PLEASE DO NOT LET THIS BILL DIE!   KEEP IT GOING WITH AN EMAIL AND A PHONE CALL TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TODAY!

The maker of OxyContin will pay Kentucky $24 million

OxyContin suit settled for $24 million

Posted: Thursday, December 24, 2015 12:24 AM

By ADAM BEAM Associated Press

FRANKFORT – The maker of OxyContin will pay Kentucky $24 million over the next eight years as part of the settlement of a long-running lawsuit that accused the company of misleading the public about the addictiveness of the powerful prescription drug.

The state first filed the lawsuit against Purdue Pharma in 2007. The Connecticut-based company has had FDA approval since 1995 to market OxyContin, a type of opioid that can relieve pain and has similar qualities to the illegal drug heroin.

Kentucky officials accused Purdue Pharma of marketing the prescription painkiller as nonaddictive because it was a pill that, when swallowed, slowly released the drug over 12 hours. However, users soon discovered if they crushed the pill the drug lost its time release qualities and created an instant high.

State officials said that led to a wave of addiction and increased medical costs across the state, particularly in eastern Kentucky where many injured coal miners were prescribed the drug. Former Attorney General Greg Stumbo, who filed the lawsuit in 2007, said the case could be worth as much as $1 billion if it ever got in front of a jury.

Purdue Pharma replaced the drug with a new version in 2010 that deters abuse.

Conway, a Democrat who leaves office next month, said in a news release the case was "still facing significant legal issues." The state Supreme Court was still considering whether Purdue Pharma missed a deadline to dispute the facts of the case. That decision, if awarded in Kentucky’s favor, would greatly help the state wins the case.

In 2007, Conway said Purdue Pharma offered Kentucky $500,000 to settle the lawsuit. The state refused.

"Purdue Pharma created havoc in Kentucky, and I am glad it will be held accountable," Conway said in a news release. "Purdue lit a fire of addiction with OxyContin that spread across this state, and Kentucky is still reeling from its effects."

The agreement says Purdue Pharma will pay Kentucky $12 million followed by another $12 million over the next eight years. The court ordered the state to spend the money on addiction treatment programs

Purdue Pharma did not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement agreement.

CONTINUE READING…

Employers tightening drug policies since marijuana legalization

 
USMJP4 2100x700
 
"There is what I consider to be a significant number of employers that are saying they wouldn’t hire an employee that uses marijuana," said Evren Esen, SHRM’s director of survey programs.

 

Published: Dec 15, 2015, 11:37 am

By Bloomberg News

With marijuana legalization spreading state-by-state and the U.S. government backing away from aggressive enforcement of federal laws, employers have begun to reconsider their substance abuse policies. They’re making them tougher.

In a first-of-its-kind survey, the Society of Human Resource Management asked 623 HR managers in states where marijuana is legal about their drug policies.

Unsurprisingly, getting stoned at work is largely frowned upon, SHRM found, regardless of legality. It turns out a large chunk of workplaces also won’t hire employees who smoke on their own time.

Marijuana is legal for recreational use in the nation’s capital and four states, including Colorado. In almost 20 others, it’s allowed for medicinal purposes.

More than half of the HR managers surveyed said they have policies, or plan to implement them, restricting the employment of marijuana users. About 38 percent said they will flat-out reject users even if they claim medical reasons. Six percent said their policy will exclude only those who partake for fun.

“There is what I consider to be a significant number of employers that are saying they wouldn’t hire an employee that uses marijuana,” said Evren Esen, SHRM’s director of survey programs.

Companies can maintain stricter policies in states where pot is legal because federal law, which governs most workplace rules, still considers marijuana to be a controlled substance.

Over the summer, the Colorado Supreme Court said it was legal to fire an employee for legally smoking medicinal marijuana while not at work.

That said, what HR managers proclaim and what they do don’t always match up. Fewer employers are drug testing now than five years ago, SHRM numbers show. A 2011 survey of 632 HR professionals found that 55 percent were testing all potential employees.

A little less than half of those surveyed in the new study said their organization does pre-employment drug testing for all candidates, which just about matches testing practices nationwide.

Denver-based Mountain States Employers Council reported that only one in five companies in Colorado planned to make drug-testing more stringent after marijuana legalization last year.

Employers are most likely to test current employees if there’s an accident or a reason to think they’re coming to work high, the survey found.

“Some companies have stated more clearly that they reserve the right to test, letting employees know that it’s not OK to come to work under the influence,” said Lara J. Makinen, an HR coordinator at the Denver-based Atkins, a design and engineering consulting firm.

In states where weed is legal for recreational use, 39 percent of those surveyed have policies that single out marijuana use.

Employers might make more drastic changes if pot use were to start interfering with work life.

So far, apart from one local news story, there haven’t been reports of hordes coming to work stoned. That jibes with SHRM’s findings. Only 21 percent of employers reported more than three incidents of employees violating policy regarding marijuana use over the last year.

“It doesn’t appear to be a really major problem,” Esen said. “It doesn’t seem like employees are going out there and rampantly using marijuana in greater numbers than before.”

This story was first published on DenverPost.com

Topics: drug testing, employers, employers drug testing policies, workplace, zero tolerance

CONTINUE READING…

Employers tightening drug policies since marijuana legalization

"There is what I consider to be a significant number of employers that are saying they wouldn’t hire an employee that uses marijuana," said Evren Esen, SHRM’s director of survey programs.

 

Published: Dec 15, 2015, 11:37 am

By Bloomberg News

With marijuana legalization spreading state-by-state and the U.S. government backing away from aggressive enforcement of federal laws, employers have begun to reconsider their substance abuse policies. They’re making them tougher.

In a first-of-its-kind survey, the Society of Human Resource Management asked 623 HR managers in states where marijuana is legal about their drug policies.

Unsurprisingly, getting stoned at work is largely frowned upon, SHRM found, regardless of legality. It turns out a large chunk of workplaces also won’t hire employees who smoke on their own time.

Marijuana is legal for recreational use in the nation’s capital and four states, including Colorado. In almost 20 others, it’s allowed for medicinal purposes.

More than half of the HR managers surveyed said they have policies, or plan to implement them, restricting the employment of marijuana users. About 38 percent said they will flat-out reject users even if they claim medical reasons. Six percent said their policy will exclude only those who partake for fun.

“There is what I consider to be a significant number of employers that are saying they wouldn’t hire an employee that uses marijuana,” said Evren Esen, SHRM’s director of survey programs.

Companies can maintain stricter policies in states where pot is legal because federal law, which governs most workplace rules, still considers marijuana to be a controlled substance.

Over the summer, the Colorado Supreme Court said it was legal to fire an employee for legally smoking medicinal marijuana while not at work.

That said, what HR managers proclaim and what they do don’t always match up. Fewer employers are drug testing now than five years ago, SHRM numbers show. A 2011 survey of 632 HR professionals found that 55 percent were testing all potential employees.

A little less than half of those surveyed in the new study said their organization does pre-employment drug testing for all candidates, which just about matches testing practices nationwide.

Denver-based Mountain States Employers Council reported that only one in five companies in Colorado planned to make drug-testing more stringent after marijuana legalization last year.

Employers are most likely to test current employees if there’s an accident or a reason to think they’re coming to work high, the survey found.

“Some companies have stated more clearly that they reserve the right to test, letting employees know that it’s not OK to come to work under the influence,” said Lara J. Makinen, an HR coordinator at the Denver-based Atkins, a design and engineering consulting firm.

In states where weed is legal for recreational use, 39 percent of those surveyed have policies that single out marijuana use.

Employers might make more drastic changes if pot use were to start interfering with work life.

So far, apart from one local news story, there haven’t been reports of hordes coming to work stoned. That jibes with SHRM’s findings. Only 21 percent of employers reported more than three incidents of employees violating policy regarding marijuana use over the last year.

“It doesn’t appear to be a really major problem,” Esen said. “It doesn’t seem like employees are going out there and rampantly using marijuana in greater numbers than before.”

This story was first published on DenverPost.com

Topics: drug testing, employers, employers drug testing policies, workplace, zero tolerance

CONTINUE READING…

US-NATO’s “Counter-Christmas Crusade” against the Cradle of Civilization and the Holy Land

By Felicity Arbuthnot

Global Research, December 17, 2015

 

 

“It’s really 19th century behavior in the 21st century. You just don’t invade another country on phony pretexts in order to assert your interests.” -John Kerry, “Meet the Press”, 2nd March 2014.

There has been a searing irony to Christmas since August 1990 and the decimating embargo on Iraq. It marked the beginning of the destruction of the region where the three Abrahamic religions were born at Ur in southern Iraq, where the Garden of Eden is believed to have flourished at Al-Qurnah, translation “connection” or “joint”, since it is where the Biblical Tigris and Euphrates rivers join.

In Al-Qurnah an ancient jujube tree – a fruit species (image right), cultivation of which is believed to go back to 900 BCE – was celebrated as the actual Biblical Tree of Knowledge.

Nearby is Babylon, found in the Books of Genesis, Peter and Revelations.

Neighbouring Syria, is also part of the “Cradle of Civilization”, integral to Biblical narrative.

Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount (Mount Hermon) which according to the Book of Matthew included:

“Syria, you are the cradle of the prophets and apostles and the center that spreads the gospel from Antioch in Syria to the world, and paved the way of the Forefathers of the Church to continue.”

St Paul of course converted on the road to Damascus – where he was actually headed to persecute Christians not to become one of them.

Geographically next door to Syria is what remains of Israeli occupied Palestine, Christ’s birthplace in Bethlehem, where, at what is now the Church of the Nativity (image left), He was believed born.

Above are just a few of the jewels of a region now decimated by that created by George W. Bush’s and Tony Blair’s “Crusade,” not to mention Obama and Cameron’s “humanitarian bombings” of the Land of two Rivers.

Ur was vandalized by the US army, who arrived with Bibles in vast stocks, missionaries and plans for proselytizing those who had nurtured and stewarded the region’s wonders of all religions for centuries.

Al-Qurna was stormed and devastatingly damaged by British, Lithuanian and Danish troops, the Tree of Knowledge whose legend and life seemingly spanned the mists of time, died, near certainly from the poisonous pollution of battle, more poisonous even than that which destroyed over half all fauna and flora after the Desert Storm 1991 onslaught, leaving the soil dead and infertile for years afterwards.

Syria’s tragedy in the ongoing Crusade, determination to redraw the map of the Middle East and steal all natural resources rather than purchase them, is outside the scope of this article.

However, Mount Hermon is now part of the buffer zone between Syria and Israeli occupied territory and the highest permanently manned United Nations position on earth. “Jesus wept” comes to mind.

As for Bethlehem’s “Little Town” so central during the Christmas period, it is prisoner to a wall eight meters high, which:

“snakes through and around Bethlehem, disrupting social, religious, cultural and economic life.” (1)

The brilliant political artist Banksy’s Christmas card show’s Joseph, with Mary on a donkey, on their way to Bethlehem for Christ’s birth – only to be blocked by the wall. (image below)

At Al Quds University last week, the most poignant of Christmas trees was unveiled to “Absent Friends”, attended by the Mufti of Bethlehem, Sheikh Abdul Majid Amarna, University’s President, Imad Abu Kishk and Greek Orthodox Archbishop Atallah Hanna. The tree was decorated with photographs of those killed by Israeli settlers and Israeli security forces (demonstrating) unity between Christian and Muslim students. It received predictable criticism from Israeli media. (2)

The tree is a microcosm of the unity to be found across the region and the world between all faiths and none. So where did this rabid Islamophobia, as demonstrated in swathes of mainstream Western media and by politicians suddenly come from?

It came primarily from a forty-two million dollar fund from seven foundations (3) read and all will become crystal clear. Some excellent links also to be found at (4) and the CIA’s input (5.)

However, it was the Orthodox Church of the Holy Land which first spotted the dangers of a creeping hate campaign, responding on 31st March 2003, as the bombs fell on Iraq, by excommunicating Tony Blair, his then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, George W. Bush and his Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, from the Church of the Nativity, for life. (6)

Blair, Straw and Bush all declare passionate Christian faith, with Bush and Blair stating they “prayed together” prior to illegally decimating Abraham’s birth country.

“A spokesman of the Orthodox Church in the Holy Land, Archimandrite Attallah Hanna declared that U.S. President George Bush, his Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Tony Blair and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw have all been banned from visiting the traditional birth place of Christ in Bethlehem.”

Hanna described both Bush and Blair as “excommunicates.” (7)

David Cameron has also expressed an “evangelical passion” for Christianity as he plots to further destroy Syria. With any luck he’ll be the next to be banned.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently said: “The world is over-armed and peace is under funded.”

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111 of 120 Kentucky counties to hold caucuses on March 5

The Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Ky.

All but nine of Kentucky’s counties will hold a caucus on March 5 as the state divides its delegates for the Republican presidential nomination.

The Republican Party of Kentucky announced 111 of the state’s 120 counties will hold caucuses on March 5. Registered Republican voters in the other nine counties can participate in neighboring county caucuses or vote by absentee ballot.

Kentucky Republicans are holding a presidential caucus for the first time so that U.S. Sen. Rand Paul can run for president and re-election without violating a state law banning candidates from appearing on the ballot twice in the same election.

Only registered Republicans can participate. The deadline to register is Dec. 31. Eight candidates have filed for the Kentucky caucus so far, including front-runners Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/politics-government/article49895480.html#storylink=cpy