Connecticut Supreme Court Reinstates State Employee Caught Smoking Marijuana On The Job

By Daniel Fisher, Forbes.com

smoking marijuana on the jobWho says arbitration is stacked against the little guy? The Connecticut Supreme Court this week reversed a lower court and reinstated a state employee who’d been fired for smoking marijuana on the job, siding with his union and an arbitrator who said the punishment was too harsh — even though the employee had access to heavy vehicles and performed maintenance work on building roofs.

The decision in State of Connecticut v. Conn. Employees Union Independent says police found University of Connecticut Health Center worker Gregory Linhoff in a UConn van parked in a “secluded area” at 5:30 p.m., smoking from a glass pipe. He told police he was taking a short break from work and lit up the pipe to eliminate “smelly” pot residue. He was arrested and police found two bags with three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana in his pockets. Criminal charges were later dismissed, but UConn fired him, citing his access to dangerous vehicles, the unsupervised nature of his work maintaining heating and air conditioning equipment in high places, and, well, the fact that smoking pot is illegal and doing it on state time in a state-owned van is a firing offense.

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Connecticut Supreme Court Rules Past Cannabis Convictions Can Be Erased

The Connecticutgavel Supreme Court has ruled that those convicted of past cannabis possession misdemeanors can have the charges erased from their record because the state decriminalized the substance in 2011. The ruling was unanimous, 7 to 0.

The court ruled in favor of Nicholas Menditto, overturning the ruling of a state Appellate Court which decided that Menditto couldn’t have his two cannabis possession convictions from 2009 removed from his record, despite the offenses no longer being criminal.

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