Tags: colorado | supreme court | marijuana | off duty | firing

Colorado Supreme Court: Marijuana in Off-Duty Hours Grounds For Firing

By    |   Tuesday, 16 Jun 2015 01:36 PM

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that employees can be fired for using medical marijuana in their off hours.

According to The Denver Post, the state court ruled in a 6-0 decision that Dish Network acted legally when it fired its customer service representative Brandon Coats in 2010 after he failed a random drug test.

Justice Allison H. Eid wrote in the court's opinion that the current wording of the state's Lawful Off-Duty Activities refers to both state and federal laws.

"Therefore, employees who engage in an activity, such as medical marijuana use, that is permitted by state law but unlawful under federal law are not protected by the statute," she wrote.

Dish network released a statement praising the decision.

"As a national employer, Dish remains committed to a drug-free workplace and compliance with federal law," it wrote.

Coats, who is wheelchair-bound and has a medical marijuana card, called the decision "devastating," and a setback for people like him, who use medical marijuana to ease his muscle spasms.

"Although I’m very disappointed today, I hope that my case has brought the issue of use of medical marijuana and employment to light," Coats said in a statement. "If we’re making marijuana legal for medical purposes we need to address issues that come along with it such as employment."

Medical marijuana and recreational marijuana proponents said that while the case was a setback, the possible legalization of marijuana on the federal level could make firings like these a thing of the past.



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The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that employees can be fired for using medical marijuana in their off hours.
colorado, supreme court, marijuana, off duty, firing
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2015-36-16
Tuesday, 16 Jun 2015 01:36 PM
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