“The federal government shouldn’t be swooping into Colorado to decide how we regulate marijuana any more than it should be swooping in to Louisiana to tell them how they should regulate fried crawfish.” – Rep. Jared Polis. Coats is a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair. He got a medical marijuana license to treat painful muscle spasms caused by his quadriplegia. Coats consumes medical marijuana at home in accordance with Colorado law. After testing positive for THC, Defendant fired him under a zero tolerance drug policy. Coats sued because generally, an employer cannot fire “any employee due to that employee’s engaging in any lawful activity off the premises of the employer during nonworking hours.” CRS 24-34-402.5(1). The Court upheld both lower court decisions finding that “lawful” is not limited to state law. Because pot is illegal under Federal law, its use is not “lawful.”
Tag Archives: Art. XVIII sec. 14
“The [Medical Marijuana] Amendment does not require patients to do anything.” – Opinion. This is a forfeiture case arising from a criminal prosecution. Defendant was arrested for possessing marijuana; the police seized his pot and plants. Defendant was acquitted and requested the return of his pot. The trial court ordered the police to return the pot, which they did, over the objection of the prosecution. The DA appealed. Colorado’s Constitution Art. XVIII sec 14(2)(e) requires the return of pot seized from a patient if a jury acquits the patient of charges arising from the seized marijuana. The DA argued that returning pot under CO law was preempted as an obstacle to the federal Controlled Substances Act. The court of appeals affirmed the to order to return the pot. Federalism does not allow the federal government to require states to seize and hold marijuana, thus, no preemption.