Do you have the Constitutional right to drive or work under the influence of marijuana? What if you have a prescription for medical marijuana? The relatively new area of law related to legalized medical marijuana is still confusing to the average person; but the Colorado Supreme Court may clarify some boundaries soon.
Medical marijuana is an emotional issue for many people. Using a traditionally illegal substance, albeit widely available, for medical purposes, just doesn’t ethically sit right with some. They feel that there is no reason to legalize the drug when there are already many other medical treatments available for those suffering from different health conditions.
But medical marijuana has been legalized in Colorado – that step is done. Now, the community is faced with tackling the various complicated questions that come with the change in the law and its widespread effect on society.
One practical problem is related to the workplace and drug testing. Marijuana is usually a banned substance that employers look at with a zero tolerance policy. What happens when the drug is prescribed but the employer is unsympathetic? Unemployment compensation may be denied for cause: non-compliance with employer drug policies.
Individuals who are legally prescribed medical marijuana are often faced with a tough choice: use the drug and risk being fired, or sacrifice the benefits of medical marijuana in order to stay employed. The Colorado Supreme Court will hopefully provide some guidance related to this very stressful situation soon.
There are certainly more areas of gray related to medical marijuana. We will continue to follow the issue and the court’s work with the matter and post more about the important, sensitive topic.
Law Week Colorado: “Is State Set For High Court MMJ Showdown in Colorado?” Aug. 23, 2011