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Judge Dismisses Medicinal Marijuana Lawsuit

Rocky Balboa

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A county judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a woman who was fired for failing a drug test, even though she claimed she was using medicinal marijuana legally under state law.

The woman had sued Colorado-based TeleTech, which has a call center of almost 700 employees in East Bremerton off Highway 303. She worked there briefly, but after a drug test in October 2006, she was fired, although she told her employers that she was recommended to use pot by a physician.

Superior Court Judge Sally F. Olsen offered no opinion as to the dismissal, only to say that there was "no genuine issue as to any material fact," in the case, which was argued before her in Kitsap County Superior Court Dec. 14.

"We're very pleased with the court's decision," said attorney Jim Shore, of the Stoel Rives law firm that represented TeleTech.

Shore had argued before Olsen that the Medical Marijuana Act, passed by Washington voters in 1998, was not intended to create employment protections to people using marijuana for medicinal purposes.

The woman's attorneys vowed to appeal the case.

The woman, dubbed "Jane Roe" in court documents by her lawyers because marijuana is illegal in any quantity federally, had sought $75,000 in damages. But the law firm representing her wants to create a legal precedent for employees that have recommendations from doctors to use marijuana.

They plan to submit the case to the Washington State Supreme Court for possible direct review, said attorney Michael Subit of Frank, Freed, Subit and Thomas of Seattle. Failing that, it could go to the one of the state's court of appeals divisions for a hearing, he said.

"We believe the voters and the Legislature intended employers to have the duty to accommodate their employees' off-site use of medicinal marijuana," he said. "We understood when we took ( the case ) this would be a long battle."

A recently decided California Supreme Court case has similarities to the TeleTech lawsuit. By a 5-2 vote, that court ruled in January that employers can fire workers who use medical marijuana even if it was legally recommended by a doctor.

Source: Kitsap Sun
Author: Josh Farley
Copyright: 2008 Kitsap Sun
Website: kitsapsun.com : Kitsap, Washington, News, Business, Homes, Jobs, Cars & Information


New Member
What needs to change is the values associated with a urine test for cannabis. It is a fat soluable substance that stays in your system for many days and even months compared to many illegal narcotics that are water soluable, meth, coke, etc... The un fair practice of the urine test and testing for marijuana, can further harm an employee rather than seek the more truthful answer, this is not to condone marijuana use while actively on work in any way. But, where is the line drawn, and whose call is it? The employers? The companies HR policy? Their insurance company who regulates how they have to conduct their internal affairs? Many questions need to adressed here, as well as the costs of these urine tests.
I have personally witnessed major companies, pick & choose " random Urine tests" on specified employees who were known to smoke marijuana,( on their own time) and were great sales performers always on time, gave 1-2 hours extra a day to their job,never calling in sick, but getting fired for testing positive for marijuana. I also have seen the reversal and having the same company who had top "Corporate Sales People" who happened to be a medical marijuana patient smoking all the way to the bank with the CEO. The determining factor is the decisions made ultimately by the code of " It may not be what you know, but who you know".
It is too discriminating in either case.
What an individual does in their own time away from their employment is that persons right to freely choose.


Well-Known Member
They would have to add Prescription medications to drug testing that included opiates and anything derived from the Coca plant when I was done.

They will argue that the side effects can hamper job performance, so the prescription meds with the above active ingredients would have to be included in employment screenings.
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