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Up in Smoke: Colorado Employers Can Still Fire Pot Smoking Employees

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that employers may test employees for marijuana usage, even with marijuana being legal in Colorado. According to the Denver Post:

Employers’ zero-tolerance drug policies trump Colorado’s medical marijuana laws, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday.

In a 6-0 decision, the high court affirmed lower court rulings that businesses can fire employees for the use of medical marijuana — even if it’s off-duty.

With the ruling, which was a blow to some medical marijuana patients and a sigh of relief to employers, Colorado became the first state to provide guidance on a gray area of the law.


While this is a state-court case and only applies to Colorado, it sets a legal precedent in other jurisdictions that are moving to legalize or decriminalize marijuana. Louisiana currently is discussing rehabilitating its medical marijuana laws, so while our state is behind the times we are progressing towards similar societal issues. For those who want to smoke marijuana while remaining employed, your employer still dictates whether this act violates the conditions of your employment. Just because a drug may be legal doesn’t mean that failing a drug test for use won’t get you fired. On top of that, after states move to decriminalize marijuana, employers become more strict. As the article states:

When Colorado legalized recreational marijuana last year, employers across the state increased their drug testing, said Curtis Graves, an attorney for Mountain States Employers Council, referencing a workplace survey at the time.