Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
This week, we have updates on Delaware, Ohio and South Carolina – three very different states grappling with legalization in three very different ways. We have some federal news as well. No, the SAFE Act is not law! This development involves cannabis and workers’ compensation. And finally, Thailand is giving away marijuana – a LOT of marijuana.
Last week, we reported that the Delaware House had passed a legalization bill and the Senate was poised to do the same. We also expressed some skepticism about the bill’s chances once it hit the governor’s desk. Now, we can tell you that the Senate did pass the measure, and that our skepticism seems warranted. Governor John Carney (D) has still not signed the bill, nor has he indicated whether he will sign it. He stated that he supports decriminalizing, which he says H.B. 371 would do, but says he still has concerns about public safety and the effect on young people. Even if the Governor does sign this bill, his remarks seem to doom the chances of a bill to set up a marketplace, H.B. 372.
The saga of legal cannabis in Ohio continues. The latest installment has state officials and legalization advocates reaching a deal that would allow the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol to retain the 140,000 signatures they’ve already gathered in favor of putting the question to the voters, in exchange for waiting until 2023 for a ballot initiative. The legislature has until April 2023 to take up the matter; otherwise, the voters could decide the following November.
In what can come as no surprise to those watching events in the Palmetto State, medical marijuana failed to pass in the current legislative session. The Senate Majority Leader, Shane Massey (R) expressed regret that the bill failed. Better luck next time!
Suppose you are injured on the job, and your doctor prescribes medical cannabis. It’s legal in your state, but your employer doesn’t want to cover the cost, citing federal drug laws. Is that legal? Good question! State supreme courts have split on what the answer should be, and now the U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to weigh in. The Department of Justice, however, would like them to stay out. “The petitions in these cases, which present a novel question in a rapidly evolving area of law, do not warrant this Court’s review,” the DOJ stated in an amicus brief.
Your backyard garden might include tomatoes, or peppers, or lettuce. If you live in Thailand, you could add cannabis to that salad mix. The government announced that it will give away one million plants to gardeners across the nation. A new law allowing home grow of medical grade marijuana goes into effect on June 9.
Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!