Federal Law Complicates State Job Protection Laws

According to an article in the Huffington Post, the Colorado Court of Appeals has ruled that the Colorado law preventing employers from terminating employees for activities off the job that are legal, such as the use of tobacco does not apply to medical marijuana patients. Although medical marijuana is legal in Colorado, the court determined that Federal prohibition prevents job protection under the state law. Similar problems have been addressed in other states with similar results. Arizona may be the only state that protects medical marijuana patients employment with a caveat, the protected employment must not harm the employers Federal contract or license. Federal law requires any business that does business with the Federal Government to provide a drug free workplace and have a drug testing program. The Federal law also complicates insurance agreements with employers because many insurance policies exclude claims where illegal activity is involved. Even if an employee’s job status was protected under state law, an on the job injury might not be covered by the employers insurance policy because of the Federal prohibition of marijuana.

I’m really not in favor of laws preventing employers from terminating employees for what ever reason they see fit. If I were an employer, I wouldn’t want people telling me who I could or could not hire or fire. That in itself is against the principles of freedom and is hostile to business. Isn’t the legalization of marijuana about personal freedom? Shouldn’t that freedom apply equally to everyone, including employers?

Just another good reason to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substance Act and let states sort out the legalization of marijuana. The will of the people is being circumvented by the obstructionists in Washington, who believe we should all live by their edict.


Randy Johnson