Reader: Skip the Weed, but Go Ahead and Drink All Night

Reader: Skip the Weed, but Go Ahead and Drink All Night
Jacqueline Collins
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You can have a beer after work, but you still can't consume cannabis...not if you want to guarantee that you can keep your job, anyway.

House Bill 1089, introduced by Representative Jovan Melton, would have shielded employees from being fired for off-hour pot use under the same law that provides protection to alcohol and tobacco consumers...but business groups lined up to testify against it, and the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee voted down the proposal on February 19.

Readers were quick to respond to the news. Says Ed:

Nixon-era stigmas still alive and well.

Suggests Colin: 

Go ahead and pop all those pills, though.

Adds Joe: 

Skip the weed, but go ahead and drink all night and come to work hungover. What happened to "treat marijuana like alcohol"?

Notes James: 

You all have to understand the liability it puts on a employer; until adequate testing is available that bill shouldn't pass.

Adds Karen: 

It would have imploded the moment the new state law collided with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, especially with federal employees in state and companies with federal contracts. Likely a nationwide company would sue the state, since in order to comply with the state law it would endanger their federal contracts, and federal courts would side with them due to the Supremacy Clause.

Responds Bobby:

 Nevada has this law in place. Sky hasn't fallen.

Suggests David: 

Maybe its time for a citizen initiative...petition!

Concludes Jeremy: 

Wait...I thought the Democrats were "all about the people, man!"

Seems to me that with them being totally in power here in Colorado, that they can pass any law they want as long as it doesn't go against the Bill of Rights, or the Colorado or U.S. constitutions. (Marijuana isn't against the state or federal constitutions; it's only against federal law.)

Maybe you all might want to remember this when the next election comes around and maybe give your local libertarian candidate a shot at the job. You couldn't do any worse at electing people to office as you already have.

Under Melton's bill, employees who worked under federal guidelines, as well as those in bona fide occupations with rational requirements banning marijuana use, wouldn't have been able to use the law as protection from being fired. However, representatives from assorted business groups testified that protecting off-duty marijuana use could create future lawsuits over termination despite Colorado being an at-will state, where employees can be fired for poor performance.

The majority of representatives on the committee agreed with Melton that the issue should be addressed, but they were scared off by the lack of sufficient scientific impairment testing for marijuana use, as well as claims from the bill's opposition that the bill would lead to less safe workplaces across the state.

What do you think of Melton's proposal? The committee's action? Post a comment or email your thoughts to marijuana@westword.com.

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