Work and marijuana

Colorado’s medical marijuana measure, Amendment 20, doesn’t supersede state law, including state employment rules that allow employers to fire workers who test positive for drugs.

That’s the effect of a Colorado Court of Appeals decision, which the state Supreme Court recently refused to take up.

Essentially, the court said Amendment 20 provides an affirmative defense for people who have a medical marijuana card if they are cited for pot possession, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers explained last week. It does not create a constitutional right to use marijuana.

That means employers may fire workers who test postive for marijuana in their system, even if they have a medical marijuana card, and not be charged for unemployment benefits.

That’s as it should be. Amendment 20 was never meant as a carte blanche to allow employees to be stoned at work.


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