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American Supreme Court to Hear Trucker’s Case Over Failed THC Test

Recently, the American Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that involves a trucker who filed a lawsuit against a marijuana company after he was terminated over a failed THC test. In the suit, which was filed in October 2023, the trucker alleged that the failed test was caused by the consumption of a CBD product derived from hemp.

The trucker, Douglas Horn, sued Medical Marijuana Inc. in 2015 under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO)Act. He claimed that the company falsely marketed the product as having 0% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which led him to try it to manage pain. A district court sided with the trucker in its ruling and gave the go-ahead for the suit to proceed. However, Medical Marijuana Inc. appealed the court’s decision at the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court justices have decided to act on the case next week. Horn was represented by Jeffrey Marc Benjamin, of the Linden Law Group P.C.

Generally, RICO cases are linked to large-scale prosecutions of criminal enterprises. However, the statute is also applicable to civil matters. In this case, Horn alleges that he was injured in his property or business because he was fired over a failed THC test. He claims that the company committed wire and mail fraud.

It should be noted that the word “injury” falls under the meaning of business in the RICO statute.

In its ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit stated that the trucker’s termination cost him future as well as current wages, in addition to him losing his pension benefits and insurance because they were all tied to his job.

In a similar case that was settled earlier this year, the DEA had to provide back pay to a special agent and restore pension eligibility after he was terminated in 2019 for testing positive for THC.

In his suit challenging the wrongful termination by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the agent also attributed the positive test to CBD he was taking to manage chronic pain as a substitute for opioids.

The agent, Anthony Armour, also asserted that the federal agency had no grounds to fire him for using what he believed to be a federally legal product, especially with no evidence that his intention was to break the law.

Throughout the suit, the department of Justice acknowledged that he was an outstanding agent during his tenure, which spanned over a decade. In its ruling, the courts also directed that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency cover Armour’s legal expenses.

This case is likely to be followed by marijuana companies such as Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) because its outcome could set some precedents that future lawsuits could refer to.

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