Utah FF-EMT sues over suspension for medical marijuana prescription

Levi Coleman's lawsuit claims that the Ogden Fire Department and the city violated the Utah Medical Cannabis Act


By Leila Merrill

ODGEN, Utah — An Odgen firefighter-EMT is suing the city because he claims that he was unlawfully suspended without pay from work for refusing to surrender his medical cannabis card, the Standard-Examiner reported.

Levi Coleman said he uses cannabis to treat chronic back pain but his performance of duties is not impaired.

Levi Coleman said he uses cannabis to treat chronic back pain but his performance of duties is not impaired.
Levi Coleman said he uses cannabis to treat chronic back pain but his performance of duties is not impaired. (Photo/AP)

The lawsuit says that the Ogden Fire Department and the city discriminated against Coleman, a government employee, in violation of the Utah Medical Cannabis Act.

Coleman has been an Ogden firefighter and EMT since 2011.

The suit says that other firefighters have prescriptions for other controlled substances and have been allowed to keep working.

Fire and city officials declined Friday to comment directly on Coleman’s allegations, the Associated Press reported.

Mark Johnson, the city’s chief administrative officer, said the matter is not clear-cut.

“We have some great concerns policy-wise with public safety individuals taking any form of controlled substances,” Johnson said. 

Jack Tidrow, president of the Professional Firefighters of Utah, has expressed support for Coleman.

“This firefighter is following state law. The employer is not,” said Tidrow. “We just want to correct this as quick as we can.”

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