Tag Archives: Medical Marijuana

Colorado Supreme Court to live video stream oral argument in 13SC394 (Brandon Coats v. Dish Network, LLC.)

Coats v. Dish Network (covered by the CLR) raises two issues that have generated a great amount of interest by the public:

Whether the Lawful Activities Statute, Section 24-34-402.5, C.R.S., protects employees from discretionary discharge for lawful use of medical marijuana outside the job where use does not affect job performance.

Whether the Medical Marijuana Amendment makes the use of medical marijuana ‘lawful’ and confers a right to use medical marijuana to persons lawfully registered with the state.

The Lawful Activities Statute protects employees from termination for off-the-job activities. Plaintiff, a quadriplegic, is licensed to use medical marijuana. Defendant fired plaintiff after he tested positive for marijuana, which was a violation of its drug policy. The court of appeals, applying the ordinary meaning of “lawful activity” as used in section 24-34-402.5, held plaintiff’s medical marijuana use, unlawful under federal law, was not “lawful.”

Because demand for seats in the courtroom outweighs availability, the Court will live stream the arguments on the Internet and the Court will live stream the argument in the first floor Court of Appeals courtroom.Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, 9 to 10 a.m.

Live video streaming can be accessed through: http://broadcast.coloradorcjc.gov/

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People v. Robert Clyde Crouse, 2013COA174 (Dec. 19, 2013)

“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.

http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Court_of_Appeals/Opinion/2013/12CA2298-PD.pdf

http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=9195&courtid=1

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Brandon Coats v. Dish Network LLC, 2013COA62 (April 25, 2013)

Despite rumors to the contrary, the use of medical marijuana is not a “lawful activity” under Colorado law; at least not under CRS 24-34-402.5, the Lawful Activities Statute protecting employees from termination for off-the-job activities. Plaintiff, a quadriplegic, is licensed to use medical marijuana. Defendant fired plaintiff after he tested positive for marijuana, which was a violation of its drug policy. The court of appeals, applying the ordinary meaning of “lawful activity” as used in section 24-34-402.5, held plaintiff’s medical marijuana use, unlawful under federal law, was not “lawful.” Although defendant defeated plaintiff’s claim, it was not entitled to attorneys’ fees pursuant to CRS 13-17-201, mandating fee awards, because the claim was not a “tort.” First, it is not an invasion of privacy tort and second, it lacks the general characteristics of a tort.

http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Court_Of_Appeals/Opinion/2013/12CA0595%20&%2012CA1704-PD.pdf

http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=8922&courtid=1

CERTIORARI GRANTED

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