As Colorado continues evolving as the first state with a constitutionally protected right to grow and consume cannabis, the prohibitionists in the state stand at the vanguard, eager to sound the alarm at what they perceive to be the greatest public policy failure since the 21st Amendment allowed alcohol sales again.

One such siren for marijuana’s contribution to public disorder is Christine Tatum. She is the wife of Denver-area rehab entrepreneur Dr. Christian Thurstone. Her latest indication of the marijuana apocalypse? The service sucks at Lowe’s.

Lowe’s is one of America’s two big-box home improvement chains (the blue one); Home Depot is the other (the orange one). Christine was in a very long line at checkout when a woman in line with her explained, “The problem isn’t just here in the garden center. The whole store is understaffed.”

While in line, Christine called the customer service number at Lowe’s corporate offices. What she found out is that Lowe’s stores in Colorado are having trouble keeping a full staff because too many of its job applicants are discriminated against for the legal marijuana metabolites found when Lowe’s tests their urine.

“Wonder of wonders, Lowe’s doesn’t want people acutely or sub-acutely under the influence of marijuana operating forklifts, using circular saws, cutting ceramic tiles, driving company trucks -- or cleaning its toilets,” Christine writes, proud that her pristine ass never has to touch a Lowe’s toilet seat cleaned by a pothead. “And no, the company isn’t interested in lowering its hiring standards, either, said Amy, the friendly and always-approachable manager at my favorite Lowe’s store.”

“Acutely” means under the influence of THC. “Sub-acutely”, means under the influence of THC-COOH, marijuana’s metabolite. What’s that you say, marijuana metabolites aren’t mentally or physically impairing? Why, silly HIGH TIMES reader, you pay too much attention to science.  In the prohibitionist’s world, they believe such things as “sub-acute marijuana impairment” which means since THC is stored in fat cells (lipophilic) and slowly released, someone who smokes pot can’t even be trusted to clean a toilet until they piss clean after a week or a month of abstinence. There’s no scientific basis for this belief -- people not acutely stoned show no difference from sober folks -- but there was no scientific basis for not hiring the Irish or forcing black people to use separate water fountains, either.

“I’m willing to wait a little longer in line because I like the company so much -- but I suspect I’m an exception, not the rule,” Christine explains. “And as a longstanding and loyal customer, I certainly don’t want Lowe’s to lower its hiring standards -- or even feel pressured to do so.”

Great!  So Lowe’s will keep discriminating against legal pot smokers but not legal drinkers, the Colorado constitution will remain intact, and Christine Tatum and her Lowe’s-loving family will be forced to suffer terribly long lines and ineffective customer service, which in the long run will cost Lowe’s business. Not just because Lowe’s can’t have legal cannabis consumers driving forklifts and cutting tile, but Lowe’s can’t even have legal cannabis consumers cleaning toilets and operating cash registers.

Gee, businesses and their loyal customers suffer when they’re prejudiced. I’m finding it difficult to feel sorry for them.

"Radical" Russ Belville is the host of The Russ Belville Show, which airs live at 3pm Pacific.