State and federal marijuana laws collide

Oren Dorell

People who use marijuana for medicinal purposes in states where it is legal are being penalized by the federal government because pot is still illegal under U.S. law.

At Denver unemployment offices, medical users fired for failing a drug test are denied unemployment benefits, says lawyer Kimberlie Ryan, who represents some of those applicants.

In California, Jim Lacy, 60, who has an arthritic hip and uses medical marijuana for pain relief, says he has had his stash confiscated and been threatened with arrest at Border Patrol checkpoints near his Jacumba home.

In Las Vegas, N.M., cancer patient Robert Jones, 70, says he has been notified that his federal rent subsidy is being revoked because he is a medical-marijuana user.

Marijuana dispensary operator Steve DeAngelo of Harborside Health Center in Oakland says his federally insured bank dumped his account because he deals in an illegal drug.

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