Should People Be Fired For Buying Legal Pot?
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Should People Be Fired For Buying Legal Pot?


Well, this sorta sucks. Mike Boyer wanted to be the first person in line to buy legal pot in his home state of Washington, so he took a day off from work on Tuesday, July 8th. The previous night, he showed up outside Spokane Green Leaf, where he camped all night and met his goal of being, yes, the first Washington state resident to snap up some legal, recreational weed there.

Your Bad, Boss

That decision would not bode well for Mike. His workplace, a staffing agency,  saw him interviewed about his plan on TV that night, then asked him to submit to a drug test, which—duh—he failed to pass. They fired him, and the aggravated fellow posted about it on Craigslist, where he also posted his resume, writing: “I lost my job due to the news coverage of me being the FIRST PERSON TO BUY MARIJUANA LEGALLY IN SPOKANE! I regret nothing. But now im jobless” (sic).

Luckily for him, however, the staffing agency flip-flopped on its original decision and quickly hired him back. Boyer accepted the offer and had this to say about it: “The reason they said they gave me my job back was because their policy says you cannot be under the influence at work, which I was not, and since I officially had the day off, what I did on my time was my time. And they gave me my job back, and even gave me a day’s worth of pay that I missed.”

As Long As You’re Not on the Clock…

Now, what do we have to say about it? While I have semi-mixed feelings on the legalization of the green stuff (I lean toward pro-, but I do believe pot can be addictive), I certainly don’t think employers should be able to old it against current or future employees if said employees legally use pot. If it’s legal, it’s legal.

But…just because it’s legal, does that make it OK? The right thing to do? Boxer’s case isn’t a stand-alone situation. Just a few days ago, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes was also among the first people to buy legal marijuana (he said he bought one gram of weed for posterity and one “for personal enjoyment”)—and his workplace didn’t exactly support that move, either. Some Seattle police officers griped about Holmes’ actions to reporters, and a memo soon went out to city employees reminding them that city buildings are still a “drug-free workplace.”

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About Author

Laura Barcella is a documentary researcher, author, freelance writer and ghostwriter from Washington, DC. Her writing has also appeared in TIME, Marie Claire, Salon, Esquire, Elle, Refinery29, AlterNet, The Village Voice, Cosmopolitan, The Chicago Sun-Times, Time Out New York, BUST, ELLE Girl, NYLON and Her book credits include Know Your Rights: A Modern Kid's Guide to the American Constitution, Fight Like a Girl: 50 Feminists Who Changed the World, Popular: The Ups and Downs of Online Dating from the Most Popular Girl in New York City, Madonna & Me: Women Writers on the Queen of Pop and The End: 50 Apocalyptic Visions From Pop Culture That You Should Know About…Before It’s Too Late.