CO Ruling on Employee Cannabis Use Likely Won’t Impact MJ Industry

Cannabis consumers and patients were dealt a blow Monday when the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that employers can still terminate workers for using marijuana, despite the fact that both medical and recreational cannabis are legal in the state.

But the unanimous 6-0 decision in a case that dates back to 2010 isn’t really expected to have much of an effect on the industry.

“In the final analysis, it may have a minimal impact,” said Bruce Nassau, a co-owner of Tru Cannabis, a chain of medical and recreational marijuana shops in Colorado.

Nassau said he expects the ruling may deter some marijuana consumers who have jobs that require random drug testing, “But I think that’s a really small minority,” Nassau said.

That was the case with Brandon Coats, the plaintiff in the case addressed by Colorado’s Supreme Court. Coats, a quadriplegic, had previously worked for Dish Network, and he used MMJ while not at work to help control muscle spasms. But Coats was fired in 2010 after failing a random drug test.

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3 comments on “CO Ruling on Employee Cannabis Use Likely Won’t Impact MJ Industry
  1. Rick Fague on

    This ruling was disappointing but not unexpected, cannabis is still illegal under federal law for the time being.

    I’ll tell you what, though, I lost a lot of respect for Dish Network over firing this poor guy Brandon Coats over this, so I think it’s time for me to send Dish CEO Charlie Ergen an email to let him know what I think.

    [email protected], if you’re interested in following suit.

  2. Rick Fague on

    And ten minutes later, Mr. Ergen has my email. It’s up to us to change hearts and minds where cannabis is concerned and just like anything else, it happens one person at a time.

    The simple fact is that the majority of Americans favor legalization, it’s up to us to make sure the people we buy products and services know that, too.

  3. Tom Gallagher on


    I have to agree with yoi. While this case simply affirmed yhe CO Supreme Courts previous decision on medical canabis, you’ve got to question the protected status had the random test come back hot form prescription oxy.

    The AMA strongly recommends that physicians practicing in medical canabis states recommend canabis before writing the opiate prescription.

    I guess judges feel an obligation to uphold bad law than defend the laws their citizens put in place. Disappointing since their oath of office obligates them to uphold the state constitution. But it’s only an oath ….. it’s not like it means anything given the activist nature of the judiciary these days.

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