Marijuana: Amendment 64 Task Force backs letting employers fire people for pot use
Employers would be allowed to fire employees for smoking marijuana off-site under a recommendation endorsed by the Amendment 64 Task Force on Tuesday. Members also voted to support a marijuana DUI bill and to recommend education for juveniles in possession of less than an ounce of pot. But they couldn't agree on whether the regulatory framework for recreational marijuana should be "vertical" or "open."
As shown in the chart below, "vertical integration" means that a marijuana business owner would be licensed to control all aspects of the business, from growing the pot to selling it. This model currently exists for medical marijuana. "Open integration" means that an owner could specialize in one part of the supply chain, such as growing only.
Many already in the pot business want to keep it vertical. "This is not the venue for us to experiment," said Norton Arbelaez, founder of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group.
A64 Task Force
Greenwood Village police chief John Jackson also spoke in favor of replicating the medical model. "Open integration scares me to death," he said. It creates too much opportunity to grow the industry, he explained, which may in turn bolster the black market.
The recommendation rejected by the task force was for a hybrid model that would allow both vertical and open integration. Proponents pointed out that whatever regulatory framework was adopted, it would include "strict inventory control, surveillance requirements and seed-to-sale tracking."
After much discussion and no consensus, task force co-chair Jack Finlaw sent the recommendation back to the Regulatory Framework Working Group for revisions.
Members did agree on several other recommendations. One of the biggest was to keep the status quo when it comes to how employers treat off-site marijuana use -- meaning they could continue to prohibit it. Some members argued that the passage of Amendment 64 changed the status quo; bosses could "restrict" off-the-job pot use but not prohibit it. In the end, a majority voted to support the recommendation below.
Continue for more on the task force's recommendations.
A64 Task Force