The man who bought the first legal retail weed in Spokane, Wash., was promptly fired after his bosses saw him on TV. But they rehired him two days later, calling the incident a misunderstanding.
Michael Boyer, 30, was let go as a part-time employee with a Spokane temp agency, TrueBlue Labor Ready, after bosses saw him on live TV buying weed at one of the first legal pot shops in the state.
Company officials texted him 40 minutes after his purchase and told him to submit to a drug test within 24 hours. He refused, knowing the results would be positive for marijuana, and was fired.
The company said it doesn’t routinely test employees for drugs, but may order a test if supervisors believe a worker showed up to a job site intoxicated. Boyer took the day off July 8, the first day of legal pot sales in Washington.
But a company official said Boyer’s bosses thought he was scheduled to work that day.
“We were not aware that he had taken the day off,” said TrueBlue’s vice president of communications, Stacy Burke. “When we realized that he was not on assignment, we reinstated him. . . . Pot is legal, and we know that.”
Boyer’s story went viral after he posted his resume on Craigslist and said he’d been fired for buying legal cannabis. Washington voters legalized recreational weed in 2012, as did voters in Colorado.
Boyer, who wore a tie-dyed shirt to opening day, was first in line at the Spokane Green Leaf pot shop. Local news outlets filmed him buying legal marijuana and smoking it afterward.
Even after being fired, Boyer bragged about his accomplishment. “Still #1 tho!” he said on Craigslist.
And he has few complaints about the way he was treated. The decision to buy the city’s first legal weed was his alone, he said, and he understands why his bosses did what they did.
“When I started this adventure and I said I wanted to be the first guy . . . I made my choice,” Boyer said. “I don’t blame anyone, and I don’t regret it, either.”
Now, he said, he hopes the media exposure can benefit him by opening doors into the marijuana industry. Boyer said he wants to grow, and his story was picked up by High Times, so that could help him get into the business. For now, he’s happy to be back at work.
“I’m actually all right,” he said. “It worked out.”
This isn’t the first time an employee has been fired for using marijuana. Employers in Colorado have successfully defended their right to let workers go for toking legally.
It’s not clear yet how courts in Washington will deal with the issue, but if Colorado is any guide, it could soon become very risky for employees to smoke pot off the job.