Being fired for marijuana use has been an accepted practice for so long that we don’t even think about it; we’ve just lumped it in with all the other illegal drugs and written it off as a “if you break the law, you’re going to get terminated.” If we saw someone get fired for smoking cigarettes or having a beer on their own time, though, we would be livid. What kind of micomanaging, corporate overlords are we giving all this power to?
Well, now that people can buy legal marijuana, that question is starting to come out regarding firings on drug use grounds.
The Story of Cyd Maurer
Cyd Maurer was, until May 2015, a news anchor in Oregon. She was good at her job, worked hard, and when she wanted to unwind at home she indulged in marijuana. As all experienced smokers know, the evidence of your use can stick around in your body for a while. So when Maurer got into a minor accident while on assignment, she was forced to take a drug test. While not under the influence of marijuana at the time of the accident, she was still fired because she tested positive.
The Next Battlefield
It bears repeating that, in the state of Oregon, Maurer did nothing illegal. In fact, despite losing her job, she will not be charged or prosecuted because the drug she chose to use is perfectly legal. She has no legal recourse, though, because there is nothing in the law that says your employer can’t fire you over something like this. Maurer had what she described as a dream job, and she lost it because her company disapproved of how she chose to indulge in her personal time.
This wouldn’t, of course, have happened if she’d been a Marlboro smoker, or chose to drink alcohol when she got home from a rough day. But because it’s marijuana, she was terminated.
Maurer isn’t taking this sitting down, however. Since she lost her job as an anchor she’s become heavily involved in the world of marijuana activism. She recognizes that the culture, in addition to the law, has to change in order for things to really get better. According to her own words, there’s no reason to be ashamed of marijuana use. Which is, of course, why she’s decided to step into the fight.
What do you think? Is this fair?