Court Upholds Firing of Medical Marijuana User

Posted by: May 08, 2013By Brian Stutheit

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Coats v. Dish Network, L.L.C. on Thursday, April 25, 2013.

Plaintiff Brandon Coats appealed the trial court’s dismissal of his complaint. Defendant fired plaintiff after he tested positive for marijuana, which was a violation of defendant’s drug policy. Plaintiff is a quadriplegic and licensed by the state of Colorado to use medical marijuana pursuant to the Medical Marijuana Amendment (Amendment). Plaintiff alleged that he used marijuana within the limits of his license, never used it on defendant’s premises, and was never under the influence of marijuana at work.

The Court of Appeals noted that all marijuana use was, and remains, prohibited by federal law. The Court held that this renders medical marijuana use not “lawful activity” for purposes of CRS § 24-34-402.5, finding the term includes federal and state law.

This summary comes from the Colorado Bar Association, at