Colorado Supreme Court agrees to hear case involving paraplegic man who was fired for using medical marijuana.
There is some good news for Brandon Coats. He is a paraplegic man who had excellent job reviews as a customer service at DISH Network in Denver. He was a properly registered user of medical marijuana, which provided relief from the considerable pain he suffered. His employer fired him following a random drug testing, finding THC in his blood. He never used marijuana on the job and he was never under the influence on the job. Colorado attorney Michael Evans has represented Brandon Coats throughout this litigation. John Campbell and I (of Campbell Law, LLC) assisted Mr. Evans in the drafting the Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Colorado Supreme Court. Two days ago, we were happy to learn that the Colorado Supreme Court agreed to hear this case. We will be assisting with writing the brief in the coming weeks. Here is the Colorado Supreme Court’s January 27, 2014 ruling.
In our Petition, we had asserted:
After prolonged treatment with various conventional, prescribed medications failed, a licensed Colorado physician recommended that Mr. Coats medically use marijuana. Mr. Coats registered and received state-approval for medical marijuana use. Thereafter, he used marijuana only in the privacy of his own home and after working hours, in compliance with Colo. Const. art. XVIII, § 14. . . . Despite satisfactory job performance, an absence of work place accommodation, and lack of impairment, DISH fired Mr. Coats solely based on an unknown amount of THC found in his body, the presence of which was the result of his exclusive use of medical marijuana in the privacy of his own home after work. Colorado’s Lawful Activity Statute prohibits employers from discriminating against or terminating employees for engaging in legal off-duty conduct. Both Colo. Const. art. XVIII, § 14 and § 16 permit the use of marijuana for Colorado residents like Mr. Coats.
In its recent Order, the Colorado Supreme Court agreed to consider the following two issues:
Whether the Lawful Activities Statute, C.R.S. section 24-34-402.5, protects employees from discretionary discharge for lawful use of medical marijuana outside the job where the 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.
For more information about this compelling case, see this article from the Denver Post.
Hobby Lobby is suing to be exempted from certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case . . . The question at the heart of this is, should a company be forced to pay for things with which it has a moral objection? [More . . . ]
Lee Camp hits a homerun in this Moment of Clarity. There IS a shocking truth about black people that we urgently need to discuss.
Speaking of Lee Camp, he’s on a roll:
Police have again determined that it is illegal to record them making arrests even when you are not up close or in any way interfering. From such an event in Boston, things have spiraled way out of control, as described to me by STL photographer Ed Crim, who read of this travesty and has issued this invitation to protest:
“Carlos Miller, of Miami, Florida, has been charged with witness intimidation by the Boston Massachusetts Police Department because he urged readers of his web site, Photography Is Not A Crime (PINAC) to call the Public Relations Officer of the Boston PD and protest the arrest of a videographer whose only offense was recording a public arrest. If you believe, as I do, that a Public Relations Officer should be willing to talk to the public about police policy, take a look at the petition and help protect our rights as photographers.”
It is my belief that the reckless use of drones is a form of terrorism, and that the U.S. is engaging in the reckless use of drones against various populations in the Middle East. Therefore I noticed Glenn Greenwald recent article that the definition of “terrorism” has been broadened even further by U.K authorities:
A well-known and highly respected Yemeni anti-drone activist was detained yesterday by UK officials under that country’s “anti-terrorism” law at Gatwick Airport, where he had traveled to speak at an event. Baraa Shiban, the project co-ordinator for the London-based legal charity Reprieve, was held for an hour and a half and repeatedly questioned about his anti-drone work and political views regarding human rights abuses in Yemen.
When he objected that his political views had no relevance to security concerns, UK law enforcement officials threatened to detain him for the full nine hours allowed by the Terrorism Act of 2000, the same statute that was abused by UK officials last month to detain my partner, David Miranda, for nine hours.
Shiban tells his story today, here, in the Guardian, and recounts how the UK official told him “he had detained me not merely because I was from Yemen, but also because of Reprieve’s work investigating and criticising the efficacy of US drone strikes in my country.”
The notion that Shiban posed some sort of security threat was absurd on its face. As the Guardian reported Tuesday, “he visited the UK without incident earlier this summer and testified in May to a US congressional hearing on the impact of the covert drone programme in Yemen. Viewing anti-drone activism as indicative of a terrorism threat is noxious.”
But what happens when President Obama aids the enemy? Will we as a nation insist that the President should also be subject to the law? Are we a nation of laws, or corrupt banana republic which only enforces the law against those powerless to resist?