Legislative Alert: Airports Covering Their Tailfins When it comes to Medical Marijuana
- Local vs. Federal: Airports Tackle Marijuana Laws
- Laws Support Better Background Checks for Religious Groups
- New Jersey Unveils Expungement Laws
Local vs. Federal: Airports Tackle Marijuana Laws
Airports are in a tricky spot when it comes to the legalization of marijuana because they answer to both local authorities and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Orlando International Airport will soon be posting signs that say any marijuana brought onto airport property could be confiscated and travelers could face charges. Even though the state legalized medical marijuana earlier this year, it will not be allowed in airport lobbies, hotels or gate areas. The main concern is funding from the FAA. The airport’s lawyer says they want to make sure they can prove they follow all federal laws, just in case. Denver International Airport has a similar policy. Anyone found to be carrying marijuana is asked to dispose of it. According to the airport spokeswoman, only 29 out of 54 million passengers were in that situation, and all reportedly disposed of the drug willingly. McCarran International in Las Vegas is also considering a similar policy.
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Laws Support Better Background Checks for Religious Groups
The Rhode Island House of Representatives voted unanimously to approve legislation allowing religious institutions to require background checks for anyone working with children. Under the house bill, churches and other organizations could require anyone over the age of 18 to do a check through the Bureau of Criminal Identification. If a record is reported it will be up to the institution to decide if it disqualifies an applicant from working or volunteering. The bill now goes to the State Senate.
Montreal, Quebec is also focusing on religion. Soon all priests in the city will have to submit to fingerprint based background checks. The effort is part of a project by the Catholic Church of Montreal, and was conceived by the Archdiocese of Montreal, not lawmakers. The hope is to rid the church of sexual abuse. Ten churches participated in a trial, now it will be expanded to all 194 Catholic churches and ministries by the year 2020.
New Jersey Unveils Expungement Laws
Governor Chris Christie says there is bipartisan agreement on three bills that will help former inmates find work. The first bill strengthens the ban the box legislation called the Opportunity to Compete Act, which was signed into law in 2014, by preventing employers from discriminating against those with expunged criminal records. The second bill allows juvenile records to be expunged after 3 years instead of waiting 5. The third bill allows records to be expunged after 6 years instead of 10, allows expungement for possession of marijuana, and allows 4 multiple offenses to be expunged if they happened within a short timeframe. This is up from 3 in the previous law.