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Medical marijuana leads to suspension for Colorado NASCAR driver

On behalf of David Lindsey, Attorney at Law posted in Drug Charges on Tuesday, August 30, 2011.

The recent suspension of Colorado NASCAR driver Ronnie Hults has sparked a debate over the current medical marijuana laws in the state. The Colorado constitution allows for the use of medical marijuana as long as person has a prescription. However, a short sentence in the legislation says that employers do not have to accept the state law, leaving them free to reprimand employees who use the substance, even if they are doing so legally.

A few weeks ago, Hults was drug tested the morning before a race after someone reportedly called NASCAR officials to complain of his marijuana use. Hults' doctor wrote him a prescription for marijuana to help ease severe back pain that stems from a car crash. Despite his valid prescription, NASCAR suspended the driver after he tested positive for marijuana.

According to Hults, he only uses the substance as a sleep aid. He argued that he never uses it when racing, so he is not harming anyone. According to the recent news article, the racecar driver had consumed marijuana a total of 12 hours before his drug test. One doctor said a person's metabolism is what determines the effects of the substance at that point.

While the state law and workplace rules do not necessarily line up right now, one Colorado attorney said that employers may adjust their policies down the road. He said he hopes NASCAR will allow him to continue to race and still use the medical marijuana that his doctor prescribed. Currently, however, Hults will be stuck on suspension for an indefinite amount of time as he waits for NASCAR officials to decide how to handle his case.

Source: 9News.com, "Colorado NASCAR driver suspended for medical marijuana," Jeffrey Wolf, Aug. 23, 2011

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