Category Archives: Drug Policy

Should Employers Have the Right Not to Fire Marijuana Users?

The Colorado Supreme Court ruledMonday 6-0 that Brandon Coats (right), a medical marijuana patient that was fired by Dish Network, cannot get his job back. (Associated Press).
The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday 6-0 that Brandon Coats (right), a medical marijuana patient that was fired by Dish Network, cannot get his job back. (Associated Press)

Was this decision Justified? I think so. Here is why:

1) Marijuana is a psychoactive drug that adversely affects the brain. For anyone under age 25 it can cause permanent, psychical changes that can lead to loss of IQ by as much as 8 points, but as well can lead to mental illness and psychotic breaks in vulnerable individuals that have and are leading to mass murders and suicides. For anyone over 25, it still adversely affects memory, health, cognition and work performance.

2) Marijuana is a fat soluble, fat loving substance that stays in the body and brain for roughly one month, longer than any other drug. The brain is the fattiest organ in the body so the THC (psychoactive ingredient) accumulates there, compounding with each additional joint or ingestion of cannabis. So it doesn’t matter whether marijuana is consumed on the job or not. Impairment lasts much longer, even from occasional use in the evenings or weekends.

3) Studies by the post office indicate that marijuana users have more sick days and cause more accidents, 82% of which harm others. Other studies show that the adverse impacts to memory, motivation and cognition adversely affects work performance.

4) Addicts quite often can’t feed their habit without turning to crime, so they resort to stealing

Bottom line? Most pot smokers are a danger to themselves and others, and not capable at working at optimum levels. Employers, tasked with earning a profit for themselves and/or investors, have a right and obligation to maintain a safe and drug free work place.

Until and if the federal government decides marijuana is safe and effective as a medicine, anyone who chooses to be employed should use legal medicines. If they insist on THC, they can get a prescription for Marinol, a legal drug in pill form.

Court Cases are Ruling Against the Marijuana Lobby

Brandon Coats, right, with his mother Donna Scharfenberg sitting by his side. (Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post file)

Employers Will Not Assume the Burden of Drug Debilitated Workers

Brandon Coats failed a drug test in 2010 while working for Dish Network. He had a medical marijuana card and believed his firing was unnecessary. After the case went to trial court and the Colorado Court of Appeals, it was ruled that workers can be fired for using marijuana even when off-duty.

This case has serious implications for the marijuana industry. Even though the case centers around medical marijuana the court’s decision extends to employees who use the drug recreationally. This case serves to remind workers that courts are likely to uphold the employer’s company drug policy. Most companies enforce a zero-tolerance drug policy. Workplace safety, company reputation, and errors caused by impaired workers are just some of the reasons why most employers will not tolerate drug use. The potential for problems and financial risks increases for employers who keep pot users on payroll.

We notice that courts in California, Montana and Washington state also ruled against workers using the medical marijuana excuse.
“This is a victory for every community that does not want to accommodate pot shops and every business owner that cares about safety and health,” remarked Kevin Sabet, a former Obama Administration advisor who now serves as President of SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), a group opposed to legalization. These victories discredit the myth that employers should assume the burden of drug incapacitated employees.

Marijuana is Inevitable? Not so fast

Joshua Tree National Park. Pot shops would mar this beautiful landscape.

Big Victory in Yucca Valley, California. The Marijuana Trend can be Stopped

Marijuana proponents like to push the idea that marijuana legalization is inevitable. Residents in Yucca Valley, California voted against Measure X on June 2, 2015. Measure X would have allowed exemptions to Yucca Valley’s ban on medical marijuana dispensaries under the pretext of using medical marijuana to treat the seriously ill. It was defeated with a 56.73% to 43.27% vote on June 2, 2015.

The Yucca Valley residents showed bravery last week and are to be commended. This victory for the community shows that through education the marijuana legalization movement can be defeated. The time is now for local communities to come together and discredit the legalization movement. After all, Measure X wasn’t about using medical marijuana to care for seriously ill patients, it was about opening retail pot shops. This would have made Yucca Valley the only city in San Bernardino County to have legal pot shops. What kind of message is that sending to our kids? How safe would the public really be if there aren’t enough sheriffs to crack down on the increased numbers of stoned drivers? Many California cities don’t allow pot shops because they bring more crime to the area.

This defeat proves that community activists working hard can turn back the marijuana trend.

Sheriffs Claim Federal Law Preempts State Law in Colorado

Today Sheriffs and Prosecutors from Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas challenged Colorado’s Amendment 64 in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.  Adopted by Colorado voters in November 2012, Amendment 64 has created troubling challenges for law-enforcement officers and prosecutors in both Colorado and in its neighboring states.  The plaintiffs’ lawsuit cited a “crisis of conscience,” conflicts between federal and state laws governing marijuana, and a substantial diversion of resources and additional economic burden to taxpayers in neighboring states.

“Amendment 64 creates a constitutional challenge for all our sheriffs,” said Sheriff Justin Smith of Larimer County, Colorado, the lead plaintiff Continue reading Sheriffs Claim Federal Law Preempts State Law in Colorado