Category Archives: New Laws

Marijuana

It was quite interesting that after a new law passes, such as the legalization of marijuana, that now everyone is talking about the enforcement and the potential legal problems the law creates. At the time of the voting on this bill nothing was mentioned about how to enforce or any legal problems that the bill might face. Only after the law is passed, and is in effect do these “problems” arise.

I was very concerned at the time the bill was proposed about the ramifications and the enforceability of this if it became legal.  For example, just because it is legal to consume marijuana in the privacy of your home, if you live in a multiple family building the smoke does not stay within the confines of your apartment or housing. Therefore, you are subjecting other renters or owners to the smoke from your marijuana. While you may not care, the other parties may, and such smoke may impact their family in detrimental ways.

Another way this may affect families is that, while legal, a parent does not the right to consume marijuana and simply assume their children are safe and protected. The Department of Children and Families (DCF) may be involved with your family, or become involved, and depending on what is happening in the home may ultimately attempt to take your children away from you for consuming marijuana.

Business owners are also facing problems because unless you have a policy that prohibits the consumption of marijuana you will not be allowed to discipline or fire employees who consume marijuana.

From a law enforcement standpoint, there is no viable test to determine if you have consumed marijuana that would impact your ability to drive or whether you could use the consumption of marijuana as a defense if you are charged with criminal activity.

Voters should educate themselves on a bill before it becomes the law so that they make a decision that is best for everyone. Sometimes that means having a bill fail, have it be revamped and submitted at another time. In this case, it will be trial and error to have the law conform to what society will allow.

Now that the bill has become law, landlords have some work to do ASAP.  They need to decide if they will allow the smoking/growing of marijuana in their buildings, and add such clauses into any new or existing leases. Households who have child should education themselves and the possible ramifications for their actions and every business owner needs to establish updated employee handbook regarding their policies on marijuana consumption.