The first person to legally buy recreational pot 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.
Boyer said Wednesday that after significant media coverage of his purchase Tuesday, he received a text message from the Spokane office of temporary staffing firm TrueBlue Labor Ready ordering him to take a drug test within 24 hours. He told The Associated Press he took the test, failed it and was fired.
Stacey Burke, a spokeswoman Tacoma-based TrueBlue, says company policy prohibits being under the influence on the job. She said there's no reason he would have been fired for having bought the pot, nor would the purchase have given the company reason to order him to take a drug test.
She says the company is looking into Boyer's claims, and that if he was fired outside of protocol, he would be reinstated.
Boyer posted his resume on the Internet bulletin board Craigslist on Wednesday, 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.
On Tuesday, Boyer had waited 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 said he has a medical marijuana card and takes drug-infused medications, and that might allow him to get around the urine test at Kodiak. But he wasn’t optimistic.
Boyer also said he did not expect 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 by the firm. 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.