Bradford Publishing Launches Colorado-Only Attorney Directory

Filed Under (Bradford Publishing News & Updates, Business, Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Colorado Deeds, Divorce and Legal Separation, Domestic Partnership, Employment Law, Eviction, Leases and Landlord Tenant, Mechanics Liens, Medical Marijuana, Probate, Real Estate, Wills and Estates) on 08-11-2013

We’re excited to announce our new Colorado Attorney Directory! On November 1st we launched an online directory to link Colorado consumers with Colorado attorneys. Bradford has offered information, products and services for Colorado attorneys, businesses and consumers for more than 100 years.  With changing technology, most of our products and services have moved online to our website.  Now, more than 12,000 people visit our website each month in search of legal resources.

Bradford provides lots of self-help solutions for you to complete a legal procedure on your own, but sometimes it’s not enough and contacting a legal expert is necessary. Now we can connect you to attorneys practicing in your local Colorado community. Deciding whether to hire an attorney is a big decision.  The bottom line is knowing if you’re capable and willing to take on a particular legal task yourself. Sometimes you don’t realize immediately that the task is beyond your capabilities.

The new Colorado-only Attorney Directory can help you find the right attorney. Laws vary by state so it’s important to follow Colorado law. We make sure the attorneys listed are lawyers in good standing with the Colorado Supreme Court. They also have completed profiles on the site, so their expertise and experience is clear and allows you to know as much as possible about the lawyer’s practice before picking up the phone. Our goal is to provide easy access to Colorado attorneys who can help you find legal solutions.

Check out our new Colorado Attorney Directory and let us know what you think!

It’s Official

Filed Under (Medical Marijuana) on 11-12-2012

Colorado is now officially the second state to legalize marijuana use by anyone over 21. On Monday, December 10th, Governor Hickenlooper signed a proclamation making the use and possession of marijuana by adults 21 and older legal.

Now what?

•    Possession may now be legal, but sales licenses for marijuana distribution won’t be available until late in 2013.
•    Amendment 64 does not permit public use of marijuana.
•    A 24-member task force has been appointed to work on the issues of implementation
•    Colorado cities, counties and towns will be able to ban the use of marijuana.
•    Marijuana use is still illegal under federal law.
•    Workplace issues around marijuana use are still evolving.

In short, there may be rejoicing in the pro-marijuana community, but it may be a while before everyone understands and is comfortable with how the new laws will take effect and what the long term impact is likely to be.

Also on Monday, John Ingold at the Denver Post reported that the Department of Medical Marijuana Enforcement will issue a draft of their rewritten medical marijuana rules by December 28th. According to the article, the medical marijuana rule is “receiving extra scrutiny now that Colorado voters have passed Amendment 64” legalizing marijuana.

Colorado Medical Marijuana Laws and Growing Plants: Words of Caution

Filed Under (Medical Marijuana) on 06-12-2012

As an attorney specializing in Colorado medical marijuana law, I receive daily phone calls about various aspects of the Colorado Amendment 20. Recently, I’ve been fielding a spate of calls from patients encountering unexpected police visits. The issue stems from complaints about plants being grown in public view. While this is clearly troubling, patients can follow several simple steps to make sure they stay out of trouble while growing plants to meet their medical need.

No consumption or growing medical marijuana plants in “plain view” Continue reading “Colorado Medical Marijuana Laws and Growing Plants: Words of Caution” »

Amendment 64 has passed. Marijuana is legal in the State of Colorado. Now what?

Filed Under (Bradford Publishing News & Updates, Medical Marijuana) on 13-11-2012

We’ve brought in our resident expert, attorney and author of “Colorado Medical Marijuana Law”, Ann Toney to answer questions about what this means to Coloradans and what are the next steps. Please feel free to ask Ann your own questions in the comment section.

1.    Q: So, A64 passed, making Colorado and Washington the first states in the nation to legalize marijuana for recreational use.  What do we know about the law right now? 

A: Well, first, it will take between 30 and 60 days for the votes for the new amendment to be “certified” before the new constitutional Amendment will take effect. 

2.   Q: Does the law say anything about how marijuana is to be sold and taxed? 

A: Yes, in section (5)(d)  it states that “The General Assembly shall enact an excise tax to be levied upon marijuana sold or otherwise transferred by a marijuana cultivation facility to a marijuana product manufacturing facility or to a retail marijuana store at a rate not to exceed fifteen percent prior to January 1, 2017 and at a rate to be determined by the General Assembly thereafter.”

In the text of Amendment 64 under definitions, (2) (n) “ ‘Retail Marijuana Store‘ means an entity licensed to purchase marijuana from marijuana cultivation facilities and marijuana and marijuana products from marijuana product manufacturing facilities and to sell marijuana and marijuana products to consumers.”

3.    Q: Last week, Larimer County dropped its ban on medical marijuana dispensaries – do you think other local jurisdictions will follow suit?

A: Yes.

4.    Q: What do you see as some of the immediate fallout or consequences of the law in terms of retail shops, grow operations, and any infrastructure currently in place to regulate medical marijuana?

A: I believe, and I have always believed, they will be in an excellent position to transition into a retail shop for 21 and older customers.  While the Amendment sets out an application process to be able to qualify as an entity to cultivate or sell retail marijuana, it will be up to the legislature to set up the guidelines and then it will be up to the Department of Revenue to promulgate the regulations.  We will just have to see what, if any, deference they give to existing Optional Premises Cultivation Operations, Centers, or Marijuana Infused Product Manufacturers.  These existing medical marijuana businesses already have frameworks to be able to come into immediate compliance with any new laws.

5.    Q: There has been a lot of speculation that the federal Department of Justice will file lawsuits in Colorado and Washington to stop the Amendment from being made into law. What’s your take on the likelihood of that?

A:  I think the best indicator is history.  Look at the role the Federal government has taken on over the last three years in Colorado in response the burgeoning medical marijuana businesses.  I do not anticipate a significant response from the Federal government except maybe to remove Cannabis from Schedule 1 status which would allow them to save face in not pursuing excessive prosecutions.

Please feel free to comment on any of these questions and answers or ask your own below. Ann will be back next week for more discussion on Amendment 64.

Rules of the Road: Driving as a Medical Marijuana Card Holder in Colorado

Filed Under (Medical Marijuana) on 06-11-2012

First, let it be said that if you’re driving while drunk or high, you’re committing a crime.
And if you’re pulled over and determined to be driving under the influence, you could have your license revoked, serve mandatory jail time, pay fines and perform hours of community service.

Yet, when it comes to medical marijuana, getting the law to understand that you are not Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUI-D) can be difficult.

Currently, Colorado law has no per se amount of nanograms of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC (the psychoactive component of marijuana) per milliliter of blood as proof of intoxication or impairment.  A per se limit is an absolute limit, like a blood alcohol level. Lawmakers have struggled with setting a limit because nanograms of THC stay in chronic users’ blood long after pot’s medicinal and performance-altering effects have worn off.

Because there’s no “bright legal line”, as we attorneys say, medical marijuana patients may find themselves presumed guilty while being innocent.  You could be pulled over for a simple traffic violation, and – because of the smell or sight of marijuana in your car, or the fact that you carry a red card – find yourself asked to take a roadside test. Or you may be asked to give blood for a blood test, and if you refuse to do that, you will lose your driver’s license for a minimum of one year.

As a lawyer, I am often asked to help clients in this situation. My advice to all medical marijuana patients seeking to avoid DUI-D convictions, is to follow these four simple rules: Continue reading “Rules of the Road: Driving as a Medical Marijuana Card Holder in Colorado” »

What Happens to Medical Marijuana Regulations After November 6?

Filed Under (Medical Marijuana) on 18-10-2012

With Colorado voters sharply divided over Amendment 64, it’s ripe time to consider how the legal use of small amounts of marijuana would affect Colorado’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry and regulatory structure.

Amendment 64 would change the Colorado state constitution to allow adults 21 and older to use and possess small amounts of pot. Under A64, facilities for cultivation, product manufacturing, testing and retailing would be state-licensed. The state would collect taxes on marijuana sales.

A recent Denver post poll found A64 leaning towards passage, but the margin of support is shrinking.

Should A64 pass, it defies logic to think that Colorado would re-invent the existing infrastructure to regulate medical marijuana and replace it with a new regulatory structure.  The legislature has poured countless hours and energy into writing statues and regulations for the orderly and controlled growing and sale of medical marijuana.  Most of those controls would easily and effectively translate to the government implementation of the new freedoms allowed under A64.  Moreover, there is a division of government, Department of Revenue, Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division, which could assume the additional role of policing A64 freedoms.

Further, some or all of the existing medical marijuana centers could act as storefronts for the purchase of this newly legal marijuana.  The existing Optional Premises Cultivation Operations (OPCO) could produce marijuana for legal sale as they have been producing for medical marijuana sales.

It remains to be seen, if A64 passes, if patients will continue to apply for medical marijuana cards.  I suspect that with no good reason to jump through hoops, patients will simply purchase their medicine without special requirements to which they must currently adhere. What do you think?

For more information on the regulation of medical marijuana, see Colorado Medical Marijuana Law, by Ann Toney, JD.

Workplace Drug Use Policies and Colorado’s Medical Marijuana Law

Filed Under (Business, Medical Marijuana) on 04-10-2012

More than 160,000 Coloradans have won the right to use marijuana for medical purposes. For employers and employees, this poses interesting questions about workplace drug policies, such as:

•    How should Colorado employers deal with employees who are bona fide medical marijuana users?
•    Do employees risk losing their jobs by using medical marijuana?
•    Do employees have any legal recourse when their employers discharge them because they test positive for medical marijuana use?
Continue reading “Workplace Drug Use Policies and Colorado’s Medical Marijuana Law” »

A Colorado Employers’ Guide to Understanding Medical Marijuana Use

Filed Under (Medical Marijuana) on 20-09-2012

The law is not yet settled in Colorado concerning whether employers can, or cannot, dismiss employees due to their use of medical marijuana at home, on their own time.

Generally, it has been presumed that employers can fire workers for using marijuana, medicinally or not.  And employees generally have not been successful arguing against dismissal by relying on the Americans with Disabilities Act or state disability discrimination statutes.

But in the future, employees may be successful arguing that they can’t be dismissed under a Colorado law saying it’s illegal to fire an employee for engaging in legal acts off premises during non-working hours.  Further, employees may find other legal opportunities to press their case.

Until the answer is definitive, we offer background and general guidance on how to handle the issue. Continue reading “A Colorado Employers’ Guide to Understanding Medical Marijuana Use” »