Proposed Bill Could Protect Employees in Colorado who Use Cannabis



It has been practically 10 a long time due to the fact voters in Colorado legalized recreational hashish, but for some employers in the condition, prohibition stays the law of the land.

A proposed monthly bill would change that, with lawmakers there reviving an hard work to prohibit companies from firing businesses entirely for working with pot. 

Termed the “Prohibit Employer Adverse Action Marijuana Use,” (or HB1152) the new legislation would look for to bar companies from “taking adverse action in opposition to an employee, such as an applicant for employment, who engages in the use of… professional medical marijuana on the premises of the employer during working hours or retail or medical cannabis off the premises of the employer all through non-performing hrs.” 

The monthly bill does make it possible for for exceptions to the rule, indicating that an employer “is permitted to impose limits on personnel use of medical or retail cannabis under specified situations.”

In accordance to the Colorado Sunshine, those people exceptions contain “workers whose jobs are in dangerous fields or involve good motor expertise, these types of as positions involving the use of large equipment.”

HB1152 would take care of a peculiar predicament in Colorado, wherever cannabis has turn into inextricably linked with the state’s lifestyle and economic system given that voters accredited a legalization proposal at the ballot in 2012. Medicinal cannabis has been legal in the state since 2000.

It follows a preceding legislative effort, proposed in 2020, that also would have prohibited providers from firing staff for using hashish outside of do the job.

Democratic state Agent. Brianna Titone, the chief sponsor of HB 1152, stated it doesn’t make perception for a employee to be sacked over a legal exercise.

“Marijuana is legal in Colorado,” Titone instructed the Colorado Solar. “And what men and women do in their spare time that does not effects their function should not seriously be a problem for them. They must be ready to enjoy the lawful issues that we have in this article in Colorado and not be penalized for it.”

Democratic condition Consultant Edie Hooton, a co-sponsor of the bill, echoed individuals sentiments.

“The entire notion is to signal to the small business local community and to employers that since we have legalized cannabis, we must be next the exact same guidelines and rules that apply to liquor and prescription medication,” Hooton reported, as quoted by the Colorado Sunshine.

The discrepancy between legislation and company policy highlights what has been a defining pressure of the past 10 years of legalization in the U.S., even as condition right after condition has adopted Colorado’s direct and finished prohibition inside of its very own borders, weed stays unlawful on the federal stage, and however verboten in other pieces of modern society.

In Colorado, the contradiction bubbled to the floor in 2015, when the state’s Supreme Court “ruled that DISH Network acted legally when it fired a quadriplegic staff, Brandon Coats, who applied health care marijuana to handle seizures while he was not at work, soon after a random drug exam turned up good for marijuana,” in accordance to neighborhood tv station Denver7.

“It’s aggravating. I cannot get a career, in particular with my situation out there like that,” Coats reported, as quoted by the station. “You can’t get a career for doing a thing that’s lawful, and it does not make any perception to me.”

The monthly bill has drawn objections, such as from the Colorado Chamber of Commerce and Colorado Mining Association.

“Mining and marijuana really do not combine. Mining, like lots of other professions out there, is an inherently harmful work no matter what careers you have in brain. But you can cut down the risk of harm and demise. The most critical way to do that is to have a zero-tolerance drug plan,” reported Stan Dempsey, the president of the Colorado Mining Affiliation, as quoted by Denver7.