Despite Colorado’s progressive actions towards normalizing legal marijuana, a more recent decision comes from the state’s Supreme Court that places employees in a delicate situation.
Sparked by a case between Dish Network and a quadriplegic man who violated his employer’s policy by testing positive for marijuana, a unanimous vote from the Supreme Court sided with Dish Network. This ruling means that despite cannabis’ legality in Colorado, the right to maintain a drug-free workplace is still at the discretion of employers.
“The term ‘lawful’ refers only to those activities that are lawful under both state and federal law,” the decision said. “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.”
The decision remains controversial as many who side with the former employee Brandon Coats point out that his use of marijuana was medical to treat seizures he had because of his quadriplegia.