9NEWS.com | Denver | Colorado's Online News Leader | How to handle medical marijuana in the workplace
DENVER - Labor lawyers are seeing a large increase in the number of calls from employers and workers trying to deal with medical marijuana in the workplace.
We talked to Labor Law Expert Kim Ryan to get advice on how both parties should handle the issue.
Voters legalized medical marijuana nearly 10 years ago but the issue it is just now taking center stage in the legal arena.
"It's all in the legal spotlight because there have been so many new patient licenses issued and there has been a lot of controversy also about the new dispensaries popping up everywhere," Ryan said.
One of the top questions she has been asked is whether or not an employee can be fired for using medical marijuana. Ryan says as long as it is legal, they cannot.
"If workers are using medical marijuana and they have a license for it and they are using it legally, pursuant to the license that they have from the state, than they should not be terminated for using their medical marijuana - particularly if they're using it in their home and they are off duty and off the premises of their work place," she said.
Of course, Ryan says, if a worker is using the substance illegally, all bets are off.
"If workers are abusing it and are not using it pursuant to any kind of a valid license then they may have a problem," she said.
Ryan says there is still some question as to whether or not there are grounds for a lawsuit when it comes to an employee using medical marijuana on their breaks while on the job or on the premises of the business.