Colorado’s High Court Rules: Employer Can Legally Fire Medical Marijuana uses.

By CityFella

Colorado is one of the few states that allows the use of Marijuana for recreational use.  Yesterday the states high court ruled an employer can fire an employee for drug use.  Even if the drug was used at home.


In 2010 Dish Employee Brandon Coats a quadriplegic who smoked marijuana at home to control seizures.  Dish Corporation has a zero tolerance drug policy.

Mr Coats was open about his drug use before he was  hired and failed the initial drug test and hired anyway.  During the three years he worked for Dish  he received satisfactory reviews and was ever accused or suspected of being the influence.

In 2010, he was fired after a random drug test.

The Question

The question is can an employee be fired when the employee is at home and off-duty?

Colorado Supreme court says the employee was not protected under the state’s “lawful activities statute.”

The arguments from both Dish’s and Coats’ attorneys centered on the question of what exactly constitutes “lawful” use of medical marijuana outside of the workplace — and how such use can be considered lawful when federal law still classifies marijuana as an illegal substance, even though the state of Colorado has legalized its use both medically and recreationally.

“The Supreme Court holds that under… Colorado’s ‘lawful activities statute,’ the term ‘lawful’ refers only to those activities that are lawful under both state and federal law,” the Colorado court ruled. “Therefore, employees who engage in an activity such as medical marijuana use that is permitted by state law but unlawful under federal law are not protected by the statute.”

In nearly every state the law has been challenged the courts have favored the corporations

See: The Job Seeker The Workplace and Marijuana