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Medical marijuana: Patient fired for failing DISH drug test finds possible loophole

We've recently shared with you the story of Brandon Coats, a paralyzed medical marijuana patient fired by DISH Network for failing a drug test. Coats's appeal is moving forward -- but it turns out he's not the only MMJ patient with a case against DISH. Meet Sonny Meyers.

Meyers, who's 69, was hired by DISH in 2007, and over the next several years, he worked in a number of different capacities, including outbound sales and equipment verification -- he describes the latter as a "quasi-fraud investigation unit."

sonny meyers.jpg
Sonny Meyers.
In the meantime, Meyers was dealing with ocular migraines. He's been getting them since he was a child, but in recent years, he says they've become more and more frequent -- and debilitating. "I've gone to doctors in the past," he says, "and basically they told me, 'When you get them, don't do anything where you need to see, like drive, and it'll pass.'"

Rather than taking this advice and merely gritting his teeth through the agony, Meyers began researching alternative treatments and came upon several references to medical marijuana -- or medical cannabis, as he prefers to call it. After receiving a doctor's recommendation, he became a patient in November 2010, and he found that the substance provided him with blessed relief for this long-entrenched problem.

Why didn't Meyers inform DISH that he had become a patient, or check with the human resources department beforehand? He says he consulted the company's employee handbook and saw nothing in it that would prohibit him from being a medical marijuana patient -- a status that's legal in Colorado, he stresses.

Then, in May of 2011, Meyers was given a random drug test, and he registered positive for THC even though he never used cannabis on the job. As our William Breathes has documented, THC can linger in a user's system for hours or days even when the individual in question is sober.

The results were passed to Meyers by "one of the technicians from the company that did the testing," he recalls. "They asked why I showed positive for THC, and I said, 'Because I'm a medical marijuana user. Don't you make any allowances for medical marijuana? Because it's legal in Colorado.' And their comment was, 'We follow federal law, not state law.'"

Immediately thereafter, Meyers was dismissed -- and the bad news didn't stop there. When he filed for unemployment, his claim was denied, prompting him to contact the Industrial Claims Appeals Office (ICAO).

During the process that followed, Meyers represented himself, just as did Jason Beinor, a medical marijuana patient fired from his street-sweeping job for failing a drug test. In the end, the Colorado Court of Appeals rejected Beinor's argument, and the state Supreme Court declined to take another look at the case, which has been cited in several subsequent legal controversies, including the one involving Coats.

As for Meyers, his effort seemed to be headed in the same direction -- but there was a twist.

Page down to continue reading about the Sonny Meyers case.



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26 comments
Guest
Guest

After reading your posts and all others it is clear your personal motives and likely experience with cannabis. You got stoned years ago and weak  minded individual you are went where  your warped mind couldn't handle. Alcohol, cannabis. make your choice the stimulant, in some amplify the subconscious  thoughts and intentions of the individual using it. Did it make you paranoid Donkey? Make you suicidal?  Posting your own fears based on personal experience not logic or reality . For the majority of us our sub conscience minds are as stable as our conscience state. . I would bet your a bad drunk. We have all had the displeasure dealing in life with your type. I can only thank God in heaven you have the sense to prohibit the use of any stimulant making you worse than your conscience state of anger and unhappiness. Donkey how fitting a name for for a true jackass. I am a diabetic and pay close attention to my diet. It would be insane if I went on a crusade to force everyone to follow my diet. Get a life jackass.    

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

"a stoner with more motivation, and life skills" ROTFLMAO !! Like a square circle? ps: How's your quest "obtaining better things" going, you consumerist tool?

Guest
Guest

It seems as though donkey hotay was either always second best to, or lost his partner to a stoner with more motivation, and life skills than him, because the only thing he can seem to  do in life is blog about how pot heads are slacker. However most of them are to busy working and obtaining better things in life to spend as much time as him commenting on all the marijuana related blogs, so who is the real slacker, and communist douche

Melekalikimaka
Melekalikimaka

Donkey kicker you are right....I went and looked and all I saw was people trying to argue with stupid. I do find them rather dull trollers, just like those on the right wing extremist sites who do nothing but bait, do not want to discuss with opportunities to change minds but only with the mission to "prove you wrong" with ridiculous illogical arguments. Last time I was here DonkeyHotay was trying to argue there was no protections for those under 21 in Amend 64 and apparently didn't understand that there were for alcohol and 64 is Tax and Regulate LIKE Alcohol. I thought it was clear.  

Donkey Kicker
Donkey Kicker

 The comment section below is full of one or two angry and hateful people, Donkey Hotay, and guest, who do nothing but troll the internet all day long. Please, do something constructive with your time and don't bother reading this comment section. Trust me - or read ahead and enjoy your intelligence getting knocked down a few grades from all of the juvenile discourse.

wow
wow

how could you fire a crippled person, heartless pigs

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

You're not the sharpest tack in the box, are you Jake?

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

"Doctors can do whatever they wish as long as they are not hurting anyone" Not if they want to keep their LICENSE. Try again, moron.

Jacob Maloney
Jacob Maloney

He is working on getting you fired up. This is his point. Doesn't matter the topic. For his self esteem. 

Jacob Maloney
Jacob Maloney

He's shouldn't be given that information. He is one of "them" Sharon!

Jacob Maloney
Jacob Maloney

HipTip: if you NEED to work -- and aren't in the next class of employees, also know as staff...just apply for the job, they won't test you. Its the staff that gets tested. If you are staff, get a skill.

Colorado Mmj Patient
Colorado Mmj Patient

All you need is the script. You DONT have to fill it. I agree with Donkey's comment below.

Colorado Mmj Patient
Colorado Mmj Patient

The POINT is to have the scrip IF you need to present it to an employer who asks "why did you test positive for THC." You DO NOT have to fill the script at all. This is not for "poor people," but for people with JOBS that have anti MMJ Policies. You guys are being obtuse. 

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

... and yet you read every one of my posts. LOL!

Truth
Truth

...and yet you still come around here like the Westword lap dog day in and day out, trying to get the attention of writers and editors with your endless comments and grammar/spelling errors.  Suite lyphe, loser. 

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Next, try some toe-cheese topped with smegma.

Ice Pick
Ice Pick

I just saw an ad for a local earwax maker over to the right of this column and it was so pornographic my penis jumped.  I just want to EAT that wax.  

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