Saturday, January 28, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Off the Job Marijuana Use Leads to Legal Firing

Quadriplegics Aren't Protected
Under Federal Marijuana Law 
As we all stand witness to both the changing laws and the growth of the marijuana industry I am greatly troubled by all the injustice. But Larry twenty five states have medical marijuana and eight have recreational marijuana, isn't that great progress? Well yes and no because the law is still greatly imbalanced and confusing.

We have no uniformity with what driving while high on THC even means, we have four different standards nationally for driving impaired by THC. We have no uniformity for the medical use and prescription of marijuana amongst the twenty five states legalizing it's use. And we still have Federal law on controlled substances which just this past year has labeled marijuana as Schedule one right next to heroin and LSD. A recent Colorado case highlights just how messed up things still remain.

When a quadriplegic can't use his legalized medical marijuana without punishment well what about the average joe?

Quadriplegic Marijuana Patient Gets Fired for Random THC Screen 

Here are the facts of the Coats v. Dish Network case:

Mr. Coats is a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair;
Mr. Coats has muscle spasms and chronic pain;
Mr. Coats uses medically prescribed marijuana off the job;
Mr. Coats works as a telephone customer service representative for DISH network;
Mr. Coats is randomly screened for drugs;
Mr. Coats tests positive for THC use;
Mr. Coats is fired from his job for THC use in violation of the company's drug policy.

So Mr. Coats files a lawsuit for illegal firing because his off the job marijuana use is a "lawful activity" in Colorado. The suit goes court tot court to court. I won't bore you with all the legal BS, suffice it to say The Courts basically state that you can't use a Federal law for UNFAIR DISCRIMINATION because Federally Pot is STILL Illegal.

For Federal Purposes You Have No Protection Against Unfair Employers for Your Medical Marijuana

Employers can terminate their employees for marijuana use whether it is legal or illegal based on these rulings. So even with all the medical marijuana states UNTIL we have Federal law recognizing marijuana as legal and useful we will have continued injustice.

Any Conflict Between Federal and State Marijuana Law, Federal Law Shall Always Prevail

The main national statute for the prohibition of marijuana use is under the Federal Controlled Substances Act, CSA 21 U.S.C. section 844 (a) (2012). Federal law will always trump state law and Federal law prohibits ALL marijuana use.

Under Federal law marijuana use is NOT a lawful activity even in states with medically or recreationally legal marijuana like Colorado. Federal law still designates that marijuana has NO medically accepted use, a high risk of abuse, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

Defending and advocating for responsible marijuana use will lessen the dangers of the coming years of confusing marijuana laws and regulations. I am hopeful that these marijuana injustices will then become a thing of the past.