Posts Tagged ‘off-duty’

Colo. Supreme Court to Rule on Employee’s Firing for Off-Duty Medical Marijuana Use

Does Colorado’s off-duty activities law prohibit an employer from firing an employee because the employee used marijuana off-duty for medicinal purposes?

Last year the state appeals court ruled that it does not, because even though state law protects from discharge for off-duty activities, marijuana use is still illegal under federal law.

This week the Colorado Supreme Court agreed to review that ruling

The Colorado Supreme Court this week agreed to review a ruling by the state appeals court that the state’s off-duty activities law does not prohibit the firing of an employee for off-duty medical marijuana use.

As I reported last year, the state appeals court had ruled against an employee of the Dish Network who used marijuana off duty for medicinal purposes.

The court determined that there is no employment protection for medical marijuana users in the state because marijuana use and possession is prohibited under federal law.

“While we agree that the general purpose of (the Lawful Off-Duty Activities Statute) is to keep an employer’s proverbial nose out of an employee’s off-site off-hours business,” Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janice Davidson wrote in the opinion, “we can find no legislative intent to extend employment protection to those engaged in activities that violate federal law.”

As noted on the cannabis blog, the Supreme Court announced it would look not just  at whether a special Colorado law that protects legal off-the-clock activities covers marijuana, but also at whether Colorado’s constitution gives medical marijuana patients a right to cannabis.