Employers Can Fire Medical Marijuana Patients for Private, Off-Duty Use, Colo. Supreme Court Rules

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled employers can fire workers for using medical marijuana, even if they are not impaired at work. A quadriplegic medical marijuana patient was fired by Dish Network in 2010 for using the drug at home and off duty, which is not protected under the state’s “lawful activities statute.” He tested positive for THC during a random employee drug test. The court ruled the term “lawful” refers only to activities that are “lawful under both state and federal regulations. 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 Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 does not protect an employee’s use of medical marijuana.