Beyond Certification: Navigating Legal Situations as a Medical Marijuana Patient in Maine
Topics Include: Maine Medical Marijuana Laws and Regulations. You will learn more about proper storage when traveling in a vehicle, and what is legal and illegal. The discussion aims to help anyone who may have questions or concerns using this medicine.
Presented by Becky DeKeuster, M.Ed on July 30th, 2015 at 10am – 11am
Co-founder, Director of Community & Education, WCM
Beyond Certification: Navigating Legal Situations as a Medical Marijuana Patient in Maine Text
- Confidential – do not distribute – 2013 Beyond Certification: Navigating Legal Situations as a Medical Marijuana Patient in Maine Presented by Becky DeKeuster, M.Ed Co-founder, Director of Community & Education Wellness Connection of Maine
- DISCLAIMER The content of this webinar does not constitute legal advice. Neither WCM nor its employees can be held liable for the results of any action or decision that is based upon the information provided here. Laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and they change frequently and often rapidly. If you find yourself in need of legal assistance, please contact a qualified lawyer immediately.
- Today’s Agenda •Definitions: rights, privileges, duties •Driving •Housing •Parenting •Gun ownership •Employment
- Confidential – do not distribute – 2013 Rights, Privileges, Duties and Medical Cannabis Consumers
- Rights: Natural and Civil Natural rights: A political theory that all humans possess intrinsic basic rights given by nature or God, which no government or individual can deny. • In the U.S., these are defined as “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” Civil or legal rights: Belong to all citizens of a particular jurisdiction; redress for infringement is available under the law. • Examples in the U.S.: Marriage, trial by jury, Miranda rights, equal protection under the law
- Privileges “A special benefit, exemption from duty, or immunity from penalty given to a person, group, or class of people.” • A privilege is not a right, but generally an exemption from some standard. I am a medical cannabis patient in good standing (civil right) So I may legally possess more cannabis than non- patients (privilege)
- Responsibilities/Duties “A legal obligation that entails mandatory conduct or performance.” • U.S. example: The privileges of being a citizen of the U.S. come with a responsibility to participate in jury duty I am a medical cannabis patient in good standing (civil right) So I may legally possess more cannabis than non- patients (privilege) BUT I may not drive to endanger others (responsibility)
- Medical Cannabis: The Square Peg Natural right (maybe) Civil right (in some places) Privilege (in some places) Responsibility (always)
- Medical Cannabis: Responsibilities/Duties • In the absence of clear federal and state guidelines, and • Given the lingering effects of cannabis prohibition and the stigma associated with the plant, • Medical cannabis patients should always hold themselves to the highest standards of conduct National community Local community Family Self
- Confidential – do not distribute – 2013 Driving While a Legal Medical Cannabis Patient
- Driving with Cannabis in the Vehicle The safest space to store your medicine while transporting it from source to home (Keep Trip-Tik with medicine) Arm’s reach Odor Visible evidence Don’t display medicine you have just obtained to other persons in your vehicle Whenever possible, use storage solutions that block odor, even though you transport your meds in the trunk Never leave medicine or delivery devices in a visible or arm’s-reach location in your car (console, glove box, door)
- Driving a Vehicle with Cannabis in You Your certification does not protect you from Maine’s OUI standards. Your certification will not protect you if you drive in an unsafe manner, or are unable to perform a field sobriety test. Cannabis metabolites remain in your system for days even after any psychoactive effect is gone. While there is no “breathalyzer” for cannabis, a blood or urine test may be used. If you are trying a new strain or a new delivery method, do NOT drive until you know how this new method affects your reaction time and motor control.
- Driving as a Patient: KNOW THIS Your certification does not protect you from OUI if you are pulled over Starting a new method of intake may cause different reactions than you have previously experienced—it is your duty to act accordingly and to take responsibility for your actions Safe storage, safe use, and safe driving practices may help prevent unwanted interactions with law enforcement
- Confidential – do not distribute – 2013 Obtaining and Maintaining Housing as a Medical Cannabis Patient
- Renters/Owners Be Aware Landlords are free to make their own decisions about smoking or growing cannabis (Currently there is no federal right to smoke tobacco or other substances State-legal medical cannabis patients can be denied housing in federally- subsidized homes “Grandfathered” medical cannabis patients can be evicted from federally-subsidized homes in Maine if their use becomes known
- Patients Who Rent or Own: KNOW THIS If smoking tobacco is prohibited, smoking (and probably vaporizing) cannabis is prohibited The landlord has the right to determine what happens on her property Neighbor complaints are a top reason for law enforcement visits (not only complaints about smell or growing—loud parties, domestic disputes, etc.)
- Confidential – do not distribute – 2013 Patients Parenting (And Parenting Patients)
- Parenting with Cannabis in the Home • Always store cannabis medicine in child-proof safes or lock-boxes • Never use cannabis in the presence of your under-21 children • Have age-appropriate conversations about cannabis, its medicinal value, and its legality under federal and state law
- Parenting when the Parents Disagree Cannabis use in the home, both medical and other, is grounds for CPS to visit. Maine law: “A person may not be denied parental rights and responsibilities with respect to or contact with a minor child as a result of acting in accordance with this chapter, unless the person’s conduct is contrary to the best interests of the minor child.” ME Chief Justice Leigh Saufley (Jan. 2015): “As with any medication or substance, the question of whether a parent’s ingestion of marijuana is legal is only part of the equation… The more important question is whether that ingestion negatively affects, limits, or impairs a parent’s capacity to parent his or her child.”
- Parenting: KNOW THIS Your duties as a parent ALWAYS COME FIRST. Your use of medical cannabis may be brought up against you in custody hearings. If it is, irresponsible use and storage will reflect poorly on you.
- Confidential – do not distribute – 2013 Patients Who Own Guns
- Guns and cannabis in a car or in your home State Law Does Not Trump Federal Law The federal government currently considers all forms of cannabis including non-psychoactive hemp to be a “Schedule One” drug, with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Federal agencies can use the presence of a gun in a place where cannabis is grown, stored or used as a way to increase charges against an individual. Mandatory minimums apply.
- Gun Owners: KNOW THIS Your duties as a responsible citizen come FIRST. If you must keep them in the same building, store your medical cannabis and your firearms WELL APART. No special BATF protections currently exist for state-legal medical cannabis users who seek to legally obtain a new firearm.
- Confidential – do not distribute – 2013 Patients in the Workplace
- Current Protections for Employees Coats vs. Dish Network (CO State Supreme Court) Hiring decisions in Maine Worker’s Comp claims in NM: promising developments
- Employees: KNOW THIS • Being a medical cannabis patient does not grant you special employment rights • Employers in Maine are free to disqualify you as a candidate based on a pre-employment drug test • Employers are also free to ignore positive tests for THC metabolites in pre-employment drug screens for mmj patients • As an “at-will” state, medical cannabis patients in Maine have no special privileges when it comes to hiring decisions
- Confidential – do not distribute – 2013 Remember: You have rights during encounters with law enforcement. “Am I under arrest? Am I free to go?” “I choose to remain silent. I want to see a lawyer.”
- Confidential – do not distribute – 2013 Thank you for your time and attention! Any questions?
Additional Links for Further Information:
Article with links to the latest subsidized housing memo: http://www.leadingageny.org/