Brandon Coats leaves the courthouse at the end of the hearing with his attorney Michael Evans, right. (Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post)

Court says businesses can fire MMJ patients for pot use. Is it a precedent?

Colorado's highest court ruled that businesses can fire employees for the use of medical marijuana, so will that now set a legal precedent in other MMJ-friendly states?

Colorado medical marijuana patient Brandon Coats was fired in 2010 for testing positive for marijuana, and three courts (including the state’s Supreme Court) have since upheld Coats’ former employer’s right to fire him.

So will the Colorado Supreme Court’s recent ruling — which says businesses can fire employees for the use of medical marijuana — set a legal precedent in other U.S. states with legal MMJ?

University of Denver marijuana law professor Sam Kamin joins marijuana editor Ricardo Baca to talk about the decision — and if it will set precedents in Oregon, Washington D.C. and beyond.

“It leaves a lot of workers unprotected,” Kamin said on The Cannabist Show. “There are certain states — Delaware, Maryland and Arizona — that have written into their medical marijuana bills some employee protections. Colorado is not one of those states. In those states without those protections, it’s quite likely the courts will look at these provisions.”

Subscribe to The Cannabist Show podcast:

Subscribe with iTunes

Subscribe with Pocket Casts

Subscribe with Stitcher

Subscribe on Google Play Music

Subscribe via RSS