Pawn Shop’s Combination of Gun and Pot Policies Backfires


“You can have my gun when you pry it from my smelly, unwashed dungarees”

With the medical and recreational use of cannabis steadily on the rise, controversy looms over how it is to be handled in the workplace. In 23 states, and counting, adults can legally fire up a joint in the privacy of their home, but those same states offer no protection when a person’s otherwise legal cannabis use leads to them losing their job.
So, often the battle comes down to one simple question: How cool is your boss? Some bosses will make you piss in a cup on your way in the door, while others will make sure there is always a bowl packed in the break room bong.
The latter seems to have been the case at Valley Pawn in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where it was all fun and games until one butthurt employee took a bullet where the sun don’t shine.

By all accounts it was a beautiful piece of hardware.
An all-black .38 revolver with polished gold inlays, it had been pawned to the store back in 2011 by a cash-strapped customer and was immediately claimed by Valley Pawn employee Azalea Black.
Her boss agreed to sell her the gun just as soon as it had cleared the federally mandated waiting period imposed on the sale of used firearms. In the meantime, Black openly carried the gun around at work in her rear pocket, with the unique grip of the pistol exposed to anyone who may be looking as she passed the time of her shift allegedly admiring guns, guitars, and ganja.
Black claims that it was just another day of getting baked and handling unknown firearms on September 17th, 2011 when she was up on a ladder fondling more guns as she inventoried the area of the store. She said it was then that her fellow co-worker, a man named George Rubi, jokingly pulled the revolver from her denim holster, and ignorantly pointed it square at her caboose and pulled the trigger, firing one round smack dab in her ass.
Allegedly stoned at the time, or all the time, Black says Rubi dropped the gun and ran while other co-workers helped her off the ladder and called for an ambulance.
Last Friday she sued Valley Pawn LLC, its managing partner Justin Bernstein, and the trigger man himself George Rubi on many counts, including but not limited to pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost enjoyment of life, and then to tie the damning weed accusations in, a charge of negligent training and supervision.
Obviously, what was a terribly stupid but honest mistake is exasperated by the fact that Ms. Black decided to drag the previously private pro-pot-smoking policies of Valley Pawn into a court of law.
Black says that Mr. Rubi was given “tacit permission” to smoke weed at work by management, and she readily admits that she too enjoyed, and took advantage of, the same privileges.
She is quick to point out that she has a medical marijuana card from California, though as any pawn shop buyer would say, “it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on” in the state of New Mexico.
You can blame the weed.
You can blame the gun.
You can blame the halfwit co-worker.
But there is a good chance that nobody will blame the lady with the loaded pistol sticking halfway out of her pocket.