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First man to buy legal pot in Spokane may lose his job

Mike Boyer turns to the crowd outside, showing off the 4 grams of marijuana he bought as the first in line to legally purchase marijuana at Spokane Green Leaf, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Spokane, Wash. (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Dan Pelle)

The first man to legally buy marijuana in Spokane is now facing an uncertain employment future.

Michael Kelly Boyer says he had two jobs on Monday, but after he was featured in media coverage in line as Washington’s first legal pot shops opened Tuesday, his employment at the two companies came into question.

Boyer, who works for staffing company True Blue and a security company KREM identifies as Kodiac Security, tells KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show that both companies contacted him asking he provide a urine sample, which is something that has never come up before.

“I’ve never been drug tested for any job. It’s never been an issue before,” says Boyer.

This wasn’t Boyer’s first experience with pot. He says he’s been a regular user since he got out of the military. He got a medical marijuana card to help him transition off some other medications.

As far as how marijuana use relates to his work, Boyer says he’s always been responsible. During a period when he was operating a 10-ton truck, for example, he says he didn’t use.

“I’m not going to put people in jeopardy because of this,” says Boyer.

He hasn’t previously observed any negative impacts from his marijuana use. In fact, he says it’s actually been very helpful for him.

“It’s helped me be a little more social. The anxiety level no longer exists.”

After the initial requests for urine samples, he says True Blue recanted, but the security company is still holding firm, he says.

“If the results come back positive, they can’t keep me,” he says. “So it’s going to be what it’s going to be with them.”

Boyer says he didn’t really anticipate lining up to buy legal marijuana would affect him in this way.

“When I first decided I wanted to go down there and be in line, I honestly was not expecting any of this news coverage,” says Boyer. “It wasn’t until they started showing up that I realized what I might have gotten myself into. I just decided to embrace it and go with it.”

Regardless of what happens with his jobs, Boyer doesn’t seem regretful.

“Don’t take this the wrong way,” he says, “but a job comes every day. Being the first guy to buy weed only comes once in a lifetime.”

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