Character opportunities: breath tests for pot and a “check the box” ruling

Last year, I took you along with me to a marijuana business law course I took, thinking that the increase in legal medicinal and recreational use of pot offers some good potential story complications. Here’s part 1 and part 2. 

But there are other legal issues as well. This NPR piece reports on efforts to develop a reliable breath test for THC, the intoxicating ingredient in marijuana. New scientific evidence always requires evidentiary testing before it will be admissible in court, so the effort could continue for years, even after scientists develop a reasonably reliable test. Your characters might wrangle over the test itself, over admissibility, over uses in employment, and other ways, as characters do.

Another development with potential ramifications for your fictional employers and employees: What’s sometimes called “the box,” where a job applicant indicates whether she’s ever been charged with or convicted of a crime. The Pennsylvania high court has now ruled unconstitutional a state law preventing convicted criminals from getting full-time jobs in nursing homes or long-term-care facilities, because a lifetime ban did not serve the statutory purpose of protecting the elderly. Here’s the NPR summary. The laws are applied in many situations; does one hold your character back?

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