Federal Law Trumps Colorado Medical Marijuana Protections

Colorado workers who use medical marijuana and engage in other activities permitted by state law but not federal law are not protected by the state’s “lawful activities statute,” the Colorado Supreme Court ruled. In Brandon Coats v. Dish Network L.L.C., Coats, a former telephone customer service representative for Dish Network, argued that he was wrongfully fired for using medical marijuana. Coats has a state-issued license to use medical marijuana to treat painful muscle spasms. Dish Network fired him after he tested positive for marijuana in violation of company policy. Coats said Dish Network violated his rights under Colorado’s lawful activities statute. But in a 2-1 decision, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that for an activity to be considered “lawful” in the state, it must be permitted by both state and federal law.

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Post By Barry Nixon (262 Posts)

W. Barry Nixon is the COO, PreemploymentDirectory.com the leading background screening information portal and online worldwide directory of professional background screening firms and Suppliers to the background screening industry. He co-authored the landmark book, Background Screening & Investigations: Managing Hiring Risk from the HR and Security Perspective. He also is the publisher of award winning newsletters, The Background Buzz and The Global Background Screener, and the author of the Background Checks column in PI Magazine.

In addition, Barry is a past recipient of the elite ‘Top 25 Influential People in Security’ by Security Magazine and past Co-Chair, International Committee for the National Association for Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). He currently serves as a Global Ambassador for NAPBS.

You can contact Barry at 1-949-770-5264 or online at wbnixon@preemploymentdirectory.com