July 10, 2014 in City

Spokane’s first legal pot buyer says he lost his job over purchase

By The Spokesman-Review
 

The first person to buy recreational pot legally in Spokane says the fame has cost him his job.

Mike Boyer, whose enthusiastic purchase Tuesday was broadcast by TV stations and photographed by newspapers, said Wednesday that two of his three part-time employers have since ordered him to report for drug tests that he’s certain he’ll fail.

He posted his resume on the Internet bulletin board Craigslist, saying that Kodiak Security had fired him and that he was now “jobless,” though a Kodiak official said Wednesday afternoon that he still had a job there. Boyer speculated the company was waiting to see if he showed up for the drug test before making it official.

“I was really unaware that this might be a big deal,” he said Wednesday, adding that another one of his part-time jobs was in jeopardy as well.

On Tuesday, Boyer had been waiting for hours outside of Spokane Green Leaf – the first state-licensed retail marijuana store to open in Spokane – and became the first person in the Lilac City to legally purchase recreational pot. He emerged from the store and shouted “Go Washington” to the cheering crowd before driving home and smoking his new purchase with friends.

Boyer, who said he has a medical marijuana card, said he had not expected the publicity to cost him his employment.

But employers are allowed to continue testing their workers pursuant to their internal employment policies, according to the Washington Liquor Control Board, which is handling the implementation of marijuana rules. This includes screening applicants for jobs.

Kym Ramey, human resources manager for Kodiak, said that Boyer, who has worked there for several weeks, is still employed. She also said employees are tested per company policy.

“We’re a security firm,” Ramey said. “Our employees can’t be under the influence on the job.”

Regardless of what happens, capturing the title of first buyer of legal pot in Spokane was worth the employment woes to Boyer.

“I regret nothing,” he said.


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