In 2010 Brandon Coats was fired from his job at Dish Network for using the medical marijuana that had been prescribed to him by his doctor. You may be thinking, “Was this another bro who acquired a medical card through less than legitimate means?” In short, no. The 35 year old Coats was paralyzed in a car crash as a teenager and has been a medical marijuana patient since 2009, when, after a doctor’s urging, he discovered that pot helped calm violent and sometimes embarrassing muscle spasms.
After working at Dish for 3 years, Coats was fired in 2010 for testing positive for THC and has had difficulty finding work since then. Although Coats says he never went to work under the influence of marijuana, and THC is commonly known to stay in the human body for weeks, Dish stood behind their termination of Brandon Coats. Although Dish is headquartered in Colorado where medical marijuana was legal at the time, they argue that any marijuana use is illegal under federal law.
California, Montana, and Washington state have all faced similar cases in which they ruled against patients’ rights. The outcome of this case could set a precedent for patients’ rights not only for Colorado, but for other medical marijuana states across the country.
The case is under review in the Colorado Supreme Court today where Coats will take on Dish Network and challenge that his termination was unlawful. We will be on the edge of our seats for this extremely important judgment and will post updates to the case.
Photo Credit: The Cannabist