Case Law Update

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This issue of NAMSDL Case Law Update focuses on several recent court decisions involving the marketing, distributing, and prescribing of controlled substances, primarily opioids. The topics addressed include a recently filed request to transfer ongoing federal litigation concerning the marketing and distribution of opioids to one federal district judge for coordinated pre-trial proceedings and a bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general who are investigating the same issue. In addition, in the cases analyzed below, the respective courts: (1) uphold the decertification of a pharmaceutical company by the DEA for failing to report suspicious orders of controlled substances; (2) question whether an employer’s requirement that an employee disclose prescription medication violates the ADA; (3) deal with the intersection of workers compensation claims and (potential) opioid abuse; and (4) consider a pharmacist’s duty to a customer when faced with repeated requests to dispense high dosages of opioids. The court decisions originate from the District of Columbia, Idaho, New Mexico, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington. Within this Update, cases are divided by the type of court (federal or state) and then listed in approximate descending order of appellate level. Read more »

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This issue of NAMSDL Case Law Update focuses on eight recent court decisions involving marijuana laws and the use of marijuana, including three decisions from the U.S Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and others from highest courts in Colorado, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The topics addressed in this issue include suits to enjoin enforcement of Colorado’s marijuana legalization measure, alleged employment discrimination caused by terminating an employee for a failed drug test, investigation by the Internal Revenue Service into tax deductions taken by a marijuana business, and a police officer’s frisk of vehicle occupants based solely on the smell of marijuana. Within this Update, cases are divided by the type of court (federal or state) and then listed in approximate descending order of appellate level. Read more »

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This issue of NAMSDL Case Law Update focuses on seven recent court decisions addressing state drunk/drugged driving laws issued by the highest courts of Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah. Three of the decisions—reaching differing conclusions, interestingly— address the constitutionality of warrantless blood tests performed on unconscious drivers. Two other decisions conclude that statutes prohibiting driving with any “any amount” of controlled substance in the blood stream do not contain an implicit impairment requirement. The remaining cases address the constitutionality of a warrantless urine test and whether the underlying facts of an accident caused by drugged driving can infer malice on the part of the driver. The cases discussed below are listed in reverse chronological order. Read more »

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This issue of the NAMSDL Case Law Update focuses on several recent court decisions, including a federal appellate court and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, involving defendants accused of manufacturing and/or selling novel psychoactive substances. Two of the cases involve assertions by defendants that the statutory language in federal or state controlled substance analogue provisions is unconstitutionally vague. The other two decisions address the calculation of federal sentencing guidelines for synthetic cathinones and a challenge to the sufficiency of a federal indictment for analogue violations. The cases discussed in this issue originate from Maine, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Cases are divided by the type of court (federal or state) and then listed in approximate descending order of appellate level. Read more »

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