In a case of first impression for the marijuana industry, a product liability case has now been filed against a marijuana grower and retailer. The suit alleges that the retailer sprayed the marijuana it sold with a pesticide to prevent bugs from destroying the crop. The pesticide produces hydrogen cyanide gas when burned. The suit was filed in Colorado. Although the plaintiffs in that case agree they have not been harmed (so far) they never would have used the product if they were informed of the potential. This is especially true of person who used the marijuana for relief of chronic pain or problems associated with cancer treatment. The pesticide is allowed on vegetables, not tobacco which is burned.

A new California law cracks down on prosecutors who deliberately withhold evidence from criminal defense attorneys. It is amazing that this problem still exists. The US Supreme Court since 1965 has mandated that prosecutors must turn over exculpatory evidence to criminal defense counsel. The ethics code in California clearly states that prosecutors are obligated not to win cases, but to seek truth. By not allowing defendants to have access to all evidence, this undermines the entire criminal justice system. The new law would allow the trial court to recuse the prosecutors who is found liable of this from the case. In cases where the prosecutor’s office is found liable, the entire office could be forced off the case. If violations are found, the trial court is authorized to report the attorneys to the State Bar of California. Current cases are in jeopardy in Riverside, Kern and Orange County for this type of misconduct. From 1997 to 2009, more than 700 cases of prosecutorial misconduct have been filed. Only 6 prosecutors in those cases were disciplined. The public has the right to feel that the criminal justice system is dispensing even handed justice and is not stacking the deck against defendants. We all need to aspire to the credo as the US Supreme Court of equal justice under law

Finally, California has become the latest state to ban plastic microbeads. These beads are the tiny abrasives contained in exfoliators (face and body scrubs) and other products. Six other states have passed similar bans. The problems with the beads arise when they are rinsed off and go into the water supply. These beads have the same effect as grinding up plastic water bottles and dumping them into the ocean according to various environmentalists.  Seems like a laudable goal. However, do we have something that can do the same job without causing any potential problems? Science will need to come to the rescue of the industry and our society to allow those who used the products to continue to do so.

What say you?