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Monday, December 22, 2014

National News -by Rachel Bunting

Rhode Island
     Christine Callaghan, a graduate student at the University of Rhode Island, is receiving the help of the American Civil Liberties Union after a fabrics company withdrew their internship offer due to Callaghan’s status as a medical marijuana patient. 

     The ACLU filed suit on November 12th against Darlington Fabrics, stating Callaghan uses her medication for frequent, debilitating headaches and has been a patient for two years. She was supposed to begin her internship in July, but after informing someone in the human resources department at Darlington of her medical issues and assuring them she would not medicate at nor bring her medication to the work place, the internship was withdrawn. Due to losing the internship Callaghan was unable to find a replacement and her future could end up being affected by losing this opportunity. She lost huge networking prospects and her graduation status was made uncertain by the possibility she might not finish her required internship credits in time. The suit filed by the ACLU states ‘“a potential employer’s failure to hire a medical marijuana patient because of, or related to, his or her status as a medical marijuana user and/or cardholder” constitutes disability discrimination in violation of the RI Civil Rights Act, and also violates the medical marijuana law, which protects cardholders from discrimination in employment. The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages and other appropriate relief “to make the Plaintiff whole.”’ (ACLU) The ACLU has continuously been a supporter of the medical marijuana laws and those that abide by them. The attorney for the ACLU stated that the companies of Rhode Island cannot deny employment opportunities to people with disabilities simply based on the type of medication required to treat their individual condition.

Prosser , Washington
     On Saturday, November 15th Washington saw its first marijuana auction which brought in around $600,000. The auction was monitored by at least two representatives of the Washington Liquor Control Board, who stated it was “well-organized” and was held in a black tent. Fireweed Farms, based in Prosser, planted their crop in May and harvested in late September. Randy Williams, the owner of Fireweed Farms, sold around 300 pounds, the bulk of his harvest, to state licensed processors and retailers. Williams stated that he wanted to spend more time with his grandson rather than packaging and selling his crop so he organized the event to “get rid of it all quick”. Money earned from 3 of the lots, around $14,000, will be donated to local schools. Lt. Jeremy Wissing of the Liquor Control Board, believed the event was well run and though it is the first, he doesn’t think it will be the last pot auction in Washington. Wissing also commented on how the auction was a “business controlled environment,” which could be observed by the detailed list of strains and a complete potency profile provided to buyers. Some buyers left empty handed, not wanting to buy without testing the product. There was no sampling permitted. Williams had hoped to make $1 million but was delighted with the amount they did bring in.

Denver, Colorado
     Health authorities in Colorado have begun worrying that edible marijuana treats are too eye-catching for children. They have requested a new panel to determine which treats could look too similar to non-medibles. The Health Department would like edibles manufacturers to give their product a different look so it could not be confused with regular snacks. They would also like the state commission to give pre-market approval before any products can be sold. Edibles producers are upset at the request as the law allows access to retail marijuana in all forms and believe that consumers should take responsibility for the products they bring into their own home.

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