Medical Marijuana Hiring & Firing

Medical Marijuana refers to the use of marijuana to treat or alleviate symptoms of certain illnesses. A growing number of states permit individuals to use marijuana on the recommendation of a physician. Despite... more +
Medical Marijuana refers to the use of marijuana to treat or alleviate symptoms of certain illnesses. A growing number of states permit individuals to use marijuana on the recommendation of a physician. Despite state laws to the contrary, Federal law still prohibits the use or possession of marijuana. The conflict between state and federal law on this issue has created interesting enforcement issues and significant legal hurdles for medical marijuana providers.  less -
News & Analysis as of

A “Hotbox” Of Legal Issues: California’s Workplace Marijuana Laws

With New York joining in last year, nearly half the country has laws permitting state residents to use marijuana for medical purposes, and a handful even permit recreational use. California led the movement when it passed the...more

The People Have Spoken, and It’s Time to Start Smokin’. . . Or Just Say No

It’s July 1, 2015, and Oregon law now allows adults to lawfully use marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes. Many employers have already faced questions from employees about the impact of the state’s new...more

Rocky Mountain High Part II: Colorado’s Highest Court Approves Employer’s Stance that Employee Toke is No Joke

Last week the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that an employer can fire an employee for use of medical marijuana away from the workplace. The case is Coats v. Dish Network, No. 13SC394 (June 15, 2015). The plaintiff is a...more

Colorado Medical Marijuana Case is Not as Far-Reaching as Expected

On June 15, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its highly anticipated decision in Coats v. Dish Network. In a unanimous decision, the court in Coats upheld the termination of an employee who failed a random drug test...more

Recent Colorado Supreme Court Decision on Medical Marijuana Highlights Risks Facing Employers in Connecticut Who Seek to Enforce...

As many of our clients know, we frequently train and counsel employers on the implications of Connecticut’s medical marijuana law in the workplace. Although medical marijuana use remains illegal under federal law,...more

Medical Marijuana Still “Unlawful”

The Colorado Supreme Court considered whether a state law prohibiting discrimination based on an employee’s “lawful” off-work activities applies to the employee’s use of medical marijuana as permitted under state law. Coats...more

Colorado Decision Shows Continuing Tension Between Legal Marijuana and Employer Drug Testing

Last week, the Colorado Supreme Court rejected the claim of a quadriplegic employee terminated for testing positive for marijuana. In Coats v. Dish Network, LLC, the plaintiff possessed a valid medical marijuana card issued...more

Colorado Supreme Court Plays Debbie Downer for Medical Pot Users

The wait is finally over. Employers in Colorado – and in other states with similar lifestyle laws – can breathe a sigh of relief following a recent ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court. In Coats v. Dish Network, a...more

Despite State Laws, Marijuana Use is Illegal and Can be Grounds for Discharge

A client in North Carolina recently asked me whether it was lawful to fire an employee for smoking marijuana. “Of course,” I replied. She then added another fact: the employee had been on vacation in Colorado and returned...more

Colorado Allows Firing of Employee Who Used Medical Marijuana

As more states jump on the medical marijuana bandwagon, employers are faced with increasing questions about how these changes in the law affect drug testing policies. The conventional wisdom has been that medical marijuana...more

Colorado Supreme Court Okays Discharge of Medical Marijuana-Using Employee

Colorado, like some other states including New York, has a law that generally prohibits an employer from discharging an employee for engaging in lawful activities outside of work. Earlier this week, in Coats v. Dish Network,...more

Colorado Supreme Court Upholds Termination of Medical Marijuana User - A Trend Is Beginning for Courts to Permit Employers to...

In Coats v. Dish Network, the Colorado Supreme Court held that the state’s “lawful activities” statute did not limit the right of an employer to discharge an employee for the employee’s lawful (under Colorado law) use of...more

Colorado Employers Can Fire Workers for Off-Duty Medical Marijuana Use

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled on June 15, 2015, that an employee can be fired for using medical marijuana even though the drug is legal in Colorado and the employee was not at work at the time. The unanimous decision...more

Coats v. Dish Network, LLC: The Colorado Supreme Court Provides Added Certainty Regarding a Colorado Employee’s Use of Medical...

On Monday, June 15, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court, in a long-awaited decision in the Coats v. Dish Network, LLC, case, confirmed what actions employers may take against employees in Colorado who use medical marijuana...more

Employers May Fire Employees for State-Licensed Medical Marijuana Use, Colorado Supreme Court Holds

In a much anticipated decision, the Colorado Supreme Court confirmed an employer’s right to fire employees for drug use — even state-licensed use of medical marijuana. The court ruled in a unanimous decision that Dish Network...more

Colorado High Court Finds Smoking Medical Marijuana a Drag on Employment

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that an employee who uses medicinal marijuana at home during non-working hours can be discharged for failing a drug test. While application may be limited by its heavy reliance on Colorado...more

Even in Colorado, you can be fired for off-duty drug use

Remember this one about the employee fired for legal drug use? How about this one? It seems that we have been talking more about the impact of legal marijuana use on employment since 2012, when voters in Colorado and...more

Colorado Supreme Court Beats the Reefer

In a closely watched case involving legal protections for medical marijuana users, the Colorado Supreme Court decided yesterday that the state’s “lawful products” statute does not apply to activities that violate federal law....more

Colorado Supreme Court Confirms Medical Marijuana Use Is Not Protected by Colorado's Lawful Activities Statute

On June 15, 2015, in a highly anticipated but not unexpected decision, the Colorado Supreme Court held that medical marijuana use, which is unlawful under federal law, is not a “lawful activity” under Colorado’s lawful...more

Colorado Supreme Court Upholds Firing Over Off-Duty Medical Marijuana Use

An employer did not act unlawfully when it fired a quadriplegic worker who used medical marijuana while off duty, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled today in a 6-0 decision. Affirming the April 2013 decision of the Colorado...more

Even In Colorado, Employees May Be Terminated for Medical Marijuana Use In Violation of Company Drug Policy

In Coats v. Dish Network, LLC, the Supreme Court of Colorado upheld an employer’s decision to terminate the employment of a quadriplegic employee who worked as a customer service representative and who held a state-issued...more

Colorado Supreme Court Upholds Employers’ Right to Terminate for Use of Medical Marijuana During Nonworking Hours

On June 15, 2015, in Coats v. Dish Network, No. 13SC394, the Colorado Supreme Court unanimously held under the plain language of C.R.S. § 24-34-402.5, Colorado’s “lawful activities statute,” that the term “lawful” refers only...more

Colorado Supreme Court: Terminating an Employee for Marijuana Use Does Not Violate the Colorado Lawful Activities Statute

On June 15, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court held that the Colorado Lawful Activity Statute does not prohibit an employer from terminating the employment of an employee for off-the-job use of medical marijuana. However, this...more

Colorado Supreme Court Upholds Employers’ Right To Fire Employees That Test Positive For Medical Marijuana

In a case which has been monitored by employers nationwide, the Colorado Supreme Court upheld an employer’s decision to terminate an employee for testing positive for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in a random drug test....more

Colorado Supreme Court Affirms Right to Discharge Medical Marijuana User Who Tested Positive in Violation of Zero Tolerance Policy

Today, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in Coats v. Dish Network, No. 13SC394 (June 15, 2015). The court held that Colorado’s lawful off-duty conduct statute does not prohibit employers from...more

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