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Use of Marijuana While Outside of Work Can Still Get You Fired

By Emily Kelley, Esq.

On June 15, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeal’s ruling on whether the use of medical marijuana in accordance with the Colorado Constitution XVIII, §14 (but in violation of federal law) is considered “lawful activity” with regard to employment matters.[1] In short, the Court held that despite being legal in Colorado, because marijuana use is still illegal under federal law, Colorado employers can in fact terminate an employee who uses marijuana off duty and in their own spare time. While the United States Department of Justice has stated that it does not intend to prosecute those suffering from debilitating conditions who use medical marijuana, it is crucial to note that under the Supremacy Clause, when state and federal law are in dispute, federal law prevails.[2] Despite the prevalence of marijuana and its use in Colorado, it is still a schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act and therefore federally illegal.[3] If you are cited with a marijuana or other drug related crime, it is more than just a fine – it can negatively impact your job, school and future. Contact the experts in our expert Criminal Law Group to assist you in your defense, at 1-888-458-0991.

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