Pot is legal in the state of Colorado, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still be fired for using it. The state of Colorado is now considering whether a worker’s use of medical marijuana is protected under law. The Colorado Supreme Court is taking into account the case of Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic who was fired because he failed a drugs test in 2010. Brandon states that he never once got high at work, but reports say that it is possible for THC to stay in the human body for weeks on end.
Coats says his marijuana smoking is actually allowed under one state law that is designed to protect any employee from being fired for activities that are fully legal when working hours are over. The company who fired Coats then argue that because pot is illegal at a federal level, medical marijuana doesn’t come under this law.
The case is being watched by people across the country. Brandon Coats was paralyzed in a car crash when he was only a teenager, and he has since been using medical marijuana because it helped to calm his muscle spasms. He worked as a telephone operator for three years until a random drug test cost him his position, even though the supervisor were told in advance of this.
Coats asked the court to issue a ruling that would specifically apply to people like him, people who would not be impaired at work through the use of medical marijuana. Even though 23 states now approve medical marijuana, Colorado and Washington allow recreational sales.
The argument is that companies shouldn’t have to amend their policy to accommodate one employee’s medical use. Coats has been unable to find work since he lost his last job and he hopes that a ruling would offer clarity to other employers regarding weed legal for medical use.