Although it is now legal to purchase pot Colorado, smoking it could force some workers into the unemployment line.
That is because Colorado state law still dictates that employers have the right to prohibit the use of marijuana -- and in some cases, even giving businesses the right to terminate an employee for getting stoned while he is away from the workplace.
Curtis Graves, an attorney with the Mountain States Employers Council, says that as long as a company has a documented drug policy, the odds are really stacked against the employee in the event of a failed drug test. "Employers can take whatever action they deem to be prudent," he said.
This even includes the use of physician recommended medical marijuana. Unfortunately, Graves says, these seemingly unjust rules are not likely to change until the federal government finally decides to eliminate marijuana prohibition in this country.
"The Colorado state court of appeals said that unless [pot] is legal under [both] state and federal law, it is not protected under the lawful off-duty activities law,” he explains. This gives employers every right to implement zero tolerance policies in the workplace and in turn, fire anyone that tests positive for marijuana -- even if the employee did not consume during work hours.
This ruling was handed down in 2011, when a DISH Network employee filed a lawsuit for being fired after testing positive for marijuana. Even though the employee insisted his use of marijuana was for medicinal purposes and that he was never impaired while at work, the company’s zero-tolerance policy dictated that he be terminated from his position.
It is important to remember that when employees enter the workplace, they are no longer standing on their rights as citizens, they are part of a blue and white-collar dictatorship, where Graves says employers have all of the rights. "And employees need to know what the rules are so they can abide by them."
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in High Times, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.