Federal Reports Target Colorado Marijuana Money

COLORADO: The federal government is stockpiling hundreds of “suspicious activity reports” that could provide federal agents with sufficient evidence to shut down any state-legalized marijuana business.

While it may appear that federal authorities have taken a wait-and-see approach to marijuana legalization in the 23 states that now allow medical or recreational use, these reports are poised like a blade over the budding industry should federal laws be enforced.

This risk of federal prosecution has led some cannabis companies to literally launder their money.

“You used to be able to just smell it,” said Jennifer Waller, vice president of the Colorado Bankers Association, speaking of the cash from marijuana shops. “But now they are using Febreze a lot, putting the money in dryers, a lot of different things to try to disguise the scent because marijuana has such a distinct odor.”

That distinct odor is considered a red flag by federal authorities who require banks to file a suspicious activity report for every transaction that might be associated with illegal activity, including selling marijuana, even for state licensed businesses.

US Supreme Court Reject’s Florida Drug Testing Appeal

FLORIDA: The US Supreme Court Monday declined to review a lower court ruling that found unconstitutional Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) plan to randomly drug test state employees.

The decision by the nation’s highest court means that the ruling by the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals finding the plan unconstitutional stands.

The drug test-happy governor had issued an executive order in March 2011 directing all state agencies to drug test new hires and randomly test current employees. But that order was challenged by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 79, representing state workers.

Study: Marijuana Legalization Doesn’t Increase Crime

COLORADO:  Three months after Colorado residents legalized recreational marijuana with the passage of Amendment 64 in Nov. 2012, Sheriff Tom Allman of Mendocio County, Calif. – a haven for marijuana growers – warned that an onslaught of crime was headed toward Colorado.

“Thugs put on masks, they come to your house, they kick in your door. They point guns at you and say, ‘Give me your marijuana, give me your money,’” Allman told a Denver TV station in February. His state became the first to legalize marijuana for medical use in 1996; Colorado followed suit in 2000.

But a new report contends that fourteen years later, even after Colorado legalized the sale of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use on Jan. 1 of this year, violent and property crime rates in the city are actually falling. [Read more…]

Washington Employers: Marijuana Legalization In Washington State Won’t Prevent Workplace Drug Tests

WASHINGTON: Misinformation about the legalization of marijuana in Washington State could result in termination, if an employee tests positive for a drug test in a company that has a zero-tolerance drug policy. Employer’s zero tolerance drug policies are not affected by the new law.

“Legal recreational and medical use of marijuana does not give employment protections to employees who fail employer drug tests,” according to Kara Craig an attorney who specializes in employment and labor law issues for Washington Employers, the region’s largest HR consulting organization. “Drug testing focused on ‘any detectable level’ will remain enforceable for pre-employment, reasonable suspicion or post-accident situations.” [Read more…]