Colorado Ok’s Employment Drug Testing for Marijuana 

The Colorado Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Monday that employers still reserve the right to fire employees that test positive for pot. Brandon Coats, disabled, lost his job for testing positive for THC. Coats challenged the law by filing a lawsuit. The disappointing ruling means smokers in Colorado still have work to do, even after legalization.

Brandon Coats was fired from Dish Network in 2010 when he tested positive for marijuana in a random drug test. Brandon Coats is a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair. He desperately needs marijuana to alleviate the constant spasms. Coats was a customer service representative and he never smoked while on the clock. His performance was up to par. Coats cited the Lawful Off-Duty Activities Statue to support his case. He claimed he never broke any law. Unfortunately, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled 6-0 against Coats’ lawsuit. The Colorado Constitution states that employers do not have to update their policies to accommodate the new marijuana laws in Colorado.

Coats’ attorney Michael Evans told the Denver Post “For people like Brandon Coats, there really isn’t a ‘choice,’ as MMJ is the only substance both he and his (Colorado-licensed) physicians know of to control his seizures due to his quadriplegia… …He has to have it. ”

Since marijuana stores THC metabolites in our fat, it stays much longer in our urine. Generally speaking, marijuana sets of an EMIT urine test more easily than other drug. THC metabolites finally  disappear from our urine after about 13 days. The biggest fraction of users they’re getting are marijuana smokers.

The Colorado Supreme Court is showing zero compassion even for a quadriplegic who just wants to keep his job. Almost any employer will require at least a pre-employment drug screen. In a state where marijuana is legal you still aren’t quite free if you wish to keep your job.

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