Legal Update: It is October 1 and while most of the leaves will begin turning colors, Maryland has a new law on the one staying green: possessing less than 10 grams (about one-third of an ounce) of marijuana is no longer punishable by arrest and jail. You will now receive a civil citation, like a parking ticket, and pay a fine from $100 to $500, depending on the number of violations. It continues to remain illegal to smoke marijuana and to possess paraphernalia. If you are carrying medical marijuana for a loved one, do not carry the smoking device.

For parents who drop their young ones off to play before they workout or shop, the Maryland Court of Appeals says that a retailer can legally enforce the liability waiver agreements they make you sign before allowing your children to enter the store’s play area. If they get hurt, as little ones do, you cannot sue Walmart for negligent supervision.

CSI fans: Law enforcement agents in Maryland may now freely search the DNA in the sweat people leave behind in police stations. Officer, why is it so hot in here?

Medical Cases: Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a jury to pay $3.27 million to a woman who said a defectively designed vaginal mesh implant had eroded inside of her leading to serious illness and multiple surgeries.

The Depuy Pinnacle metal on metal hip replacement litigation is in full swing in Dallas. The Depuy ASR cases are settling in New Jersey. If you had a mesh implant or a metal on metal hip replacement, please consult with me to discuss your medical and legal issues.

Science: Scoliosis, or spinal curvature, affects thousands of people, young and old. There is a new therapy, an exercise regimen called the Schrothmethod. If you suffer from this genetic abnormality, surf this technique, it is worth the effort to help alleviate pain and the potential need for surgery.

Notes: When you go to the airport and park your car, take a picture of the parking space number with your phone. Do the same with your hotel room numbers.

No hand-held phones or texting while driving; I just spoke to the St. Paul’s tenth grade on this important safety matter. Call me if your group would like a presentation on this topic.

Cheers to The Baltimore Station on their Silver Anniversary. The Station is a therapeutic residential treatment program supporting Veterans suffering from addiction and helps them turn their lives back around to self sufficiency. Their celebration event is over Veteran’s weekend, November 8. More information? Call Kim Callari, 410-752-4454. I will see you there!

Be well. John CM