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Landmark off-duty pot smoking case set to go to court
Fox31, Denver ^ | December 10, 2012 | Will C. Holden

Posted on 12/10/2012 2:41:24 PM PST by Road Glide

DENVER — A Dish Network telephone operator who was fired when he failed a drug test is suing his former employer, saying they infringed on his right to use medical marijuana away from the office.

There was no evidence that Brandon Coats, a paralyzed medical marijuana user, was impaired while he was on the clock. And that’s why he said his legal usage of medical marijuana should not have cost him his job in May of 2010.

Coats’ case is pending in the Colorado Court of Appeals. If he loses the case, it could mean 175,000 individuals using medical marijuana in Colorado are in jeopardy of losing their jobs.

If he wins, it could mean big things for pot users.

A win for Coats could also mean tough luck for employers clinging to drug policies that are still seeking to prohibit their employees from using marijuana entirely in the wake of Amendment 64′s passage.

(Excerpt) Read more at kdvr.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Colorado
KEYWORDS: marijuana; pot
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Prediction: I'm going to -guess- that either the trial court or an appellate court will disallow employers from testing for marijuana UNLESS the test methodology used is able to indicate current impairment (as distinguished from simply having THC metabolites in the body's system).

Same as they do with alcohol impairment testing now (i.e., a breathalyzer test).

To my knowledge, there isn't (yet) any objective test that can ascertain this insofar as "marijuana impairment" is concerned.

Since there may currently be no way to "prove impairment" by empirical testing, and since marijuana is now (at least in Colorado) legal to use, and since there may not yet exist a standard by which marijuana impairment is actually measured, my guess is the courts there will say "no testing" UNTIL an empirical method of testing combined with a set standard to establish "impairment" can be implemented.

BTW, I'm not a pot user -- don't even drink or use tobacco... but this -- or perhaps a similar case down the line -- is going to become a very controversial issue in years to come...

1 posted on 12/10/2012 2:41:35 PM PST by Road Glide
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To: Road Glide

I don’t see where any employer has the right to ban any employee from doing anything they damn well please to do while on their own time. The company employs me and pays me for the service I render. They do not own me.


2 posted on 12/10/2012 2:47:05 PM PST by pgkdan (We are witnessing the modern sack of Rome. The barbarians have taken over.)
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To: Road Glide

cities and businesses already are allowed to not hire smokers, the same should apply here


3 posted on 12/10/2012 2:49:17 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: Road Glide

Show them a Cheech & Chong movie. If they don’t laugh, or laugh just a little, they are not impaired. If they think it’s hilarious they are definitely impaired.


4 posted on 12/10/2012 2:49:28 PM PST by Callahan
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To: pgkdan

Cities and businesses are already not hiring smokers in many places


5 posted on 12/10/2012 2:50:04 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: Road Glide

I hope the Disability activists get on this case.

Have you seen this guy’s picture??He is PARALYZED, IN A WHEELCHAIR!
He is working, not on welfare, etc...For God’s sake let the guy smoke WHATEVER he wants.

Anybody who has those kinds of disabilities and still works for a living...while we have able bodied loafers and thugs running around...Yeesh.


6 posted on 12/10/2012 2:57:07 PM PST by Recovering Ex-hippie (Go Galt!)
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To: Road Glide

Here is the first clue: do they have squinty red eyes?

Here is a field sobriety test: Place individual in room with a TV and a bag of Cheetos or Cheezits or other munchie style treats. Tell them you will be with them shortly and leave the room. Go to the oberservation window and time them on how long it takes them to start eating and watching cartoons or Jackass.

This method should produce postive results on whether they are stoned or not...


7 posted on 12/10/2012 3:01:08 PM PST by shotgun
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To: Road Glide

wanna bet if this guy was getting on a plane and looked into the cockpit and the pilots were smoking dope... that he would get off the plane?


8 posted on 12/10/2012 3:06:58 PM PST by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: pgkdan

tell that to pilots are not allowed to drink for EIGHT hours prior to flying.


9 posted on 12/10/2012 3:08:35 PM PST by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: Recovering Ex-hippie

What does being paralyzed have to do with pot smoking? The guy wants to get high. A business should be able to fire an employee for any reason.


10 posted on 12/10/2012 3:18:12 PM PST by RginTN
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To: Road Glide
A Dish Network telephone operator?

Funny, the Congress, the president, the senators, school teachers, firemen and cops, judges, mayors etc, are not randomly tested...Why should the lowly Home Depot or cubic worker be?

In fact, I'd bet good money those doing the testing, are not randomly tested.

11 posted on 12/10/2012 3:25:38 PM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: Road Glide

“To my knowledge, there isn’t (yet) any objective test that can ascertain this insofar as “marijuana impairment” is concerned.”

Actually, there is. And unfortunately the ‘pee in the bottle’ industry has done a wonderful job of discrediting it, since it impacts their profits.

The basic problem with testing urine, is that the drug has to leave behind a marker, and the test has to look for it. A drug that doesn’t leave a marker, or a test that doesn’t look for that marker - means someone bombed out of their head walks free. This actually happened to a friend of mine at his business.

A guy that they KNEW was on something, kept passing the drug test. As he was a minority, my friend’s lawyer warned him that terminating the guy after he passed the test was all but impossible. In desperation found, and I later used in a business that I ran, something called the “quick eye” system.

It is a simple way to test the person’s abilities for their eyes to follow an object. And if you can’t - you ARE on something. Several states were letting the police use it during stops. This was back in the ‘90s. Soon the ‘pee in the bottle’ companies felt threatened (or at least their profits threatened) and went on a rampage about how inaccurate it was.

I don’t believe there was any scientific evidence (except for what they paid for) that showed it didn’t work. I can tell you from first hand experience it worked perfectly for us on two occasions.


12 posted on 12/10/2012 3:28:50 PM PST by I cannot think of a name
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To: Recovering Ex-hippie
Have you seen this guy’s picture??He is PARALYZED, IN A WHEELCHAIR! He is working, not on welfare, etc...For God’s sake let the guy smoke WHATEVER he wants.

That is some mighty conservative stuff to post on a site like this! (do I need a sarcasm tag?)

Well said, and I second that opinion.

13 posted on 12/10/2012 3:28:58 PM PST by SpeakerToAnimals (I hope to earn a name in battle)
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To: pgkdan
I don’t see where any employer has the right to ban any employee from doing anything they damn well please to do while on their own time. The company employs me and pays me for the service I render. They do not own me.

So now you're ENTITLED to a paycheck?

The employer can fire your ass anytime he wants, for any reason. And if you've got that kind of attitude, he should.

14 posted on 12/10/2012 3:33:32 PM PST by Fido969
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To: Recovering Ex-hippie

Agreed


15 posted on 12/10/2012 3:33:57 PM PST by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: Road Glide

On one hand, I support a company’s right to set the conditions of employment. If you get hired on condition of not doing drugs you should honor your agreement or expect to be fired. On the other hand the fact that a company has to test for drugs, that impairment is not apparent due to degraded performance, makes me wonder why the company would care.


16 posted on 12/10/2012 3:35:11 PM PST by RightOnTheBorder
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To: I cannot think of a name
It is a simple way to test the person’s abilities for their eyes to follow an object. And if you can’t - you ARE on something.

Are you suggesting the paraplegic cubicle worker was smoking on the job while in his cubicle? If not, how would this test work?

17 posted on 12/10/2012 3:37:25 PM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: GeronL

“Cities and businesses are already not hiring smokers in many places”

Apples and oranges for two reasons, one smoking is baaaaaad, two Obummercare will eliminate company insurance plans.


18 posted on 12/10/2012 3:41:51 PM PST by dsrtsage (One half of all people have below average IQ. In the US the number is 54%)
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To: pgkdan

You’re right, they don’t own you..... and YOU don’t own your employer or even your job.

I’ve always found that those that think they are expendable, are in fact, the most expendable.

I wouldn’t knowingly hire a dope smoker and I wouldn’t retain one if I found out they were. They simply wouldn’t be worth the risk. I would quickly give a dope smoker even more freedom than they think they already had.... LOL


19 posted on 12/10/2012 3:48:27 PM PST by Gator113 (**WHO in the hell gave the damn order to NOT rescue our men in Benghazi?**)
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To: Road Glide

The problem is that marijuana impairs logic even after it ‘wears off’.


20 posted on 12/10/2012 3:49:18 PM PST by spel_grammer_an_punct_polise (Learn three chords and you, too, can be a Rock Star!)
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To: Road Glide

Most companies that do drug testing have a disclosure rule that an employee must disclose that he is taking a prescription medication that could interfere with the either the drug test or his job performance, or both. The company then has the option to move the person to another position or put them on disability.

If the employee fails to disclose the medication, the employee may be/will be fired.


21 posted on 12/10/2012 3:51:11 PM PST by Eva
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To: shotgun
I prefer pizza and a Merlot, while watching FoxNews babes! Of course, all I smoke these days are Acid...












































....Cigars!


22 posted on 12/10/2012 3:52:31 PM PST by WVKayaker ("Hang in there, America. Fight for what is right." - Sarah Palin 11/7/12)
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To: Gator113

think they are expendable = inexpendable


23 posted on 12/10/2012 3:53:22 PM PST by Gator113 (**WHO in the hell gave the damn order to NOT rescue our men in Benghazi?**)
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To: GeronL
"cities and businesses already are allowed to not hire smokers, the same should apply here"

LOL

Obviously, you don't understand that the Left ONLY wants enforcement to ban things they disapprove of (smoking), yet SCREAMS for "Freedom" for sex deviates, druggies, etc.

That's Amerika today, where moral principles, trampling individual Rights of others who don't go along with their desires, and wealth-redistribution are key components of their Agenda.

24 posted on 12/10/2012 4:00:49 PM PST by traditional1 (Don't gotsta worry 'bout no mo'gage, don't gotsta worry 'bout no gas; Obama gonna take care o' me!)
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To: dragnet2

“Are you suggesting the paraplegic cubicle worker was smoking on the job while in his cubicle? If not, how would this test work?”

It tests if the person is impaired NOW. It won’t tell you what they did two weeks ago, but personally I never cared what they did two weeks ago as long as I ain’t paying for it.

One of the people we caught using Quick Eye admitted he was taking some kind of behavior drug that was actually for his uncle. Apparently the the uncle didn’t like it, but this guy figured out that if he took a whole bunch of it, he liked it just fine. As I was paying for his time - I didn’t like it worth beans! And I really doubt it would have shown up in urine test.


25 posted on 12/10/2012 4:10:39 PM PST by I cannot think of a name
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To: GeronL

Colorado has a statute prohibiting employers from firing employees for engaging in legal off-duty activities. It was originally intended to prohibit employers from firing smokers.


26 posted on 12/10/2012 4:17:15 PM PST by colorado tanker
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To: colorado tanker

My company has locations in Colorado. We have employees driving large box trucks all over the state. If one of our drivers smokes pot and gets into an accident, you think “it’s legal” will protect me from getting sued? HA!


27 posted on 12/10/2012 4:25:33 PM PST by pie_eater
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To: Gator113

I employ 113 people and could not care less what the hell they do on their off time. I’ve managed to be very, very successful without depriving any of my employees their right to privacy!


28 posted on 12/10/2012 4:57:39 PM PST by pgkdan (We are witnessing the modern sack of Rome. The barbarians have taken over.)
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To: Gator113

I employ 113 people and could not care less what the hell they do on their off time. I’ve managed to be very, very successful without depriving any of my employees their right to privacy!


29 posted on 12/10/2012 4:57:48 PM PST by pgkdan (We are witnessing the modern sack of Rome. The barbarians have taken over.)
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To: TexasFreeper2009

The guy in question is not flying planes. That comparision is absurd.


30 posted on 12/10/2012 4:59:57 PM PST by pgkdan (We are witnessing the modern sack of Rome. The barbarians have taken over.)
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To: Fido969

I OWN the company asshole and provide 113 other people their paychecks.


31 posted on 12/10/2012 5:02:22 PM PST by pgkdan (We are witnessing the modern sack of Rome. The barbarians have taken over.)
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To: Fido969

I OWN the company asshole and provide 113 other people their paychecks.


32 posted on 12/10/2012 5:02:34 PM PST by pgkdan (We are witnessing the modern sack of Rome. The barbarians have taken over.)
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To: Fido969

I OWN the company asshole and provide 113 other people their paychecks.


33 posted on 12/10/2012 5:02:34 PM PST by pgkdan (We are witnessing the modern sack of Rome. The barbarians have taken over.)
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To: Fido969

I OWN the company asshole and provide 113 other people their paychecks.


34 posted on 12/10/2012 5:02:51 PM PST by pgkdan (We are witnessing the modern sack of Rome. The barbarians have taken over.)
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To: pgkdan

I highly doubt you employ anyone. Please tell us the name, address, and verifying info if you’re going to make such a claim.

Or else just be quiet.


35 posted on 12/10/2012 5:03:57 PM PST by Monty22002
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To: pgkdan

You do “own the company assh*le” I see.


36 posted on 12/10/2012 5:09:41 PM PST by Fido969
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To: GeronL

“cities and businesses already are allowed to not hire smokers, the same should apply here”

Agreed. They should be allowed to not hire people who drink alcohol, too. Or eat too many foods loaded with salt or fat.


37 posted on 12/10/2012 5:18:21 PM PST by APatientMan (Pick a side)
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To: pgkdan
your the one who said it shouldn't be an employers business what someone does in their off time.

And I gave an example that proved that you are wrong that has been in place for decades.

As an employer I have the right to hire or fire who I choose for whatever reason I choose. I don't want employees working for me who do drugs. I don't care if they do them at home or at work. Someone who is addicted to drugs is not trustworthy and has a proven weakness and deficit of character that I choose not to associate with and certainly will not employ such a person.

I also have no interest in hiring anyone with tattoos for similar reasons.

Lets face is millions of people are out of work and looking for a job, and I can afford to be picky.

38 posted on 12/10/2012 5:27:38 PM PST by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: pgkdan

I agree with you completely!


39 posted on 12/10/2012 5:27:53 PM PST by autumnraine (America how long will you be so deaf and dumb to the tumbril wheels carrying you to the guillotine?)
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To: traditional1
That's where we can throw the anti-smoking laws in do-gooder's faces. Can't smoke tobacco in public parks, in city-owned housing, in attached apartment buildings, and of COURSE not in a private club.

Where are the dope smokers supposed to go?

We keep hearing about how pot never killed anyone. Well, I never heard that smoking a cigarette in Central Park did either, but it's banned.

Can't wait to see the do-gooders pitted against tobacco, but in FAVOR of marijuana.

40 posted on 12/10/2012 5:34:10 PM PST by boop ("I need another Cutty Sark"-LBJ)
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To: spel_grammer_an_punct_polise

“The problem is that marijuana impairs logic even after it ‘wears off’.”

Really? Permanently? If not permanently, then for how long?

And all these facts and opinions cme from what expert source?

There are people with technical professional expertice in the subject of alcohol and drug addictions, and the related physical, mental aspects.

It is widely sstated that while “under the influence” a person’s judgement is impaired.

I just never heard that his “logic as you call it was impacted when he was no longer “under the influence.”

Now if you are talking about a strongly addicted drug or alcohol user, then maybe they can be so desparate for their next dosage, that they would steal from their employer, or lie about business.

Just looking for specifics about your statement about “logic.”


41 posted on 12/10/2012 5:35:12 PM PST by truth_seeker
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To: RightOnTheBorder

What happens if they adopt a ‘drug free policy’ AFTER you are hired? For some workers comp discount (that usually costs more to drug test than the discount, but they can’t admit it)?

It’s malarky when you can pass a drug test after smoking crack if you are tested three days later, but fired for smoking pot 28 days earlier, on the weekend.


42 posted on 12/10/2012 5:54:20 PM PST by autumnraine (America how long will you be so deaf and dumb to the tumbril wheels carrying you to the guillotine?)
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To: truth_seeker

“Just looking for specifics about your statement about “logic.”

I’ve seen it destroy lives too many times and in each case, they were supposedly ‘sober’ when they went off the deep end. It may have had something to do with, as you say, ‘needing their next fix’ but I’ll never know that.


43 posted on 12/10/2012 5:57:00 PM PST by spel_grammer_an_punct_polise (Learn three chords and you, too, can be a Rock Star!)
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To: RightOnTheBorder

Companies to random drug testing to protect themselves from liability and to ensure that their work force performs at peak standards and it is within the company rights to set those standards. If no drugs or alcohol and random spot checks are company policy, the employees all know what it means.


44 posted on 12/10/2012 6:00:27 PM PST by Eva
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To: pgkdan

And I bet your employees give you their all.

In my experience, employers who respect our WORK and not our private life get the best employees. It’s the ones who want to be slave owners who get crappy employees. And ironically, those are the ones who complain about their employees.


45 posted on 12/10/2012 6:19:14 PM PST by autumnraine (America how long will you be so deaf and dumb to the tumbril wheels carrying you to the guillotine?)
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To: Road Glide

Time to end prohibition.

The notion of a free population being made to pee in cups for the privilege of working is well... ironic.


46 posted on 12/10/2012 6:21:32 PM PST by wonkowasright (Wonko from outside the asylum)
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To: All

The irony is that if Michelle Obama was forcing them to take a cholesterol test to see if they were eating properly, they would be SCREAMING!


47 posted on 12/10/2012 7:06:25 PM PST by autumnraine (America how long will you be so deaf and dumb to the tumbril wheels carrying you to the guillotine?)
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To: RginTN

>> A business should be able to fire an employee for any reason.

Exactly. Problem solved. Nothing more than that needs to be said. This is what I refer to as true libertarianism.


48 posted on 12/10/2012 7:13:25 PM PST by Gene Eric (Demoralization is a weapon of the enemy. Don't get it, don't spread it!)
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To: Eva
Companies to random drug testing to protect themselves from liability and to ensure that their work force performs at peak standards and it is within the company rights to set those standards. If no drugs or alcohol and random spot checks are company policy, the employees all know what it means.

Funny, the people who hold power, make the big decisions, the Congress, the president, the senators, school teachers, firemen and cops, judges, mayors, city council members, governors etc, are not randomly tested...Yet the lowly underpaid cubic workers are?

Who's kidding whom?

49 posted on 12/10/2012 8:49:42 PM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: dragnet2

Those same power brokers also are exempt from Obamacare and have other special benefits, but not enough people are willing to hold them accountable. If it was up to me, I’d drug test them all, but they are part of the public sector workers, not private sector.


50 posted on 12/11/2012 10:16:51 AM PST by Eva
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