Street sweeper fired for being a medical marijuana patient
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, August, 23rd 2011 by THCFinder
Jason Beinor is a legal medical marijuana patient. But that didn't prevent his firing as a street sweeper on the 16th Street Mall after registering a positive in a random blood test -- and neither did it convince the Colorado Court of Appeals that he deserved unemployment benefits following his termination. What's Beinor's take on the case, which has major implications for Colorado's 100,000-plus MMJ card holders?
"I believe the laws are biased against [medical] marijuana users," he notes via e-mail. "However, they are the LAW written by an elected government."
Beinor became a medical marijuana patient to deal with severe headaches, and he raves about the positive impact cannabis has had on him. "I believe in the benefits of MMJ in my own life," he stresses. "I've lost weight, stopped abusing alcohol, reconnected with my family and community."
None of this mattered to Service Group, Inc., the company that employed him to sweep Denver's 16th Street Mall using a broom and dustpan. Beinor failed a random drug test in February 2010 and was promptly fired due to SGI's zero-tolerance policy when it comes to marijuana and other illegal substances.
Afterward, Beinor filed for unemployment benefits -- and while his claim was initially denied, according to the August 18 Colorado Court of Appeals ruling on view below, a hearing officer later reversed that decision. He found Beinor wasn't at fault for losing his job because there was "no reliable evidence to suggest that... claimant was not eligible for a medical marijuana license" or that his use of the marijuana negatively impacted his job performance -- a determination SGI didn't dispute. And besides, the hearing officer wrote, "Claimant has a state constitutional right to use marijuana."
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