June 18, 2014

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Ryley Carlock Attorneys File Amicus Brief in Medical Marijuana Case

Urge Colorado Supreme Court to Allow Employers to Terminate Employees
for Off-Duty Marijuana Use

 

   Authors:

   
Michael D. Moberly   
mmoberly@rcalaw.com   
602-440-4821  

Charitie Hartsig
chartsig@rcalaw.com
602-440-4898


Appearing on behalf of the Colorado Mining Association, Ryley Carlock & Applewhite Attorneys Mike Moberly and Charitie Hartsig recently filed an amicus (or "friend-of-the court") brief arguing that employers, and particularly those in safety-sensitive industries, should be permitted to discharge employees for off-duty marijuana use despite the provisions of Colorado law authorizing use of the drug for medical purposes.

The brief urges the Colorado Supreme Court to uphold the Colorado Court of Appeals' ruling in Coats v. Dish Network, which ruled in favor of the employer in a case involving the termination of a medical marijuana user who failed a workplace drug test.

Among the arguments advanced in the brief were the following:

  • Marijuana consumption remains illegal under federal law, and Colorado's laws do not require employers to accommodate the medical use of marijuana.
  • The impairing effects of marijuana may persist long after consumption of the drug, and Colorado's laws do not prevent employers from prohibiting off-duty conduct that may adversely impact the workplace.
  • If employers cannot insist that their employees refrain from using marijuana, mine operators and perhaps other employers may run afoul of federal laws requiring the maintenance of drug-free workplaces in safety-sensitive industries and occupations.

Read the AMENDED BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE FOR THE COLORADO MINING ASSOCIATION here.

For more information, contact Mike Moberly (mmoberly@rcalaw.com | 602.440.4821) or Charitie Hartsig (chartsig@rcalaw.com | 602.440.4898).

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