Colorado Supreme Court begins Hearing Arguments Related to Marijuana Users – Maine News Online
On Tuesday, the Colorado Supreme Court began hearing arguments in a case that may find out how employers manage hiring and firing of marijuana users.
Pot being legal in Colorado but employers can still fire employees for their toking habits. Brendan Coats, 35, a quadriplegic who was fired by Dish Network in 2010 after marijuana was found in his system brought the case to the court.
Coats started using medical marijuana at a doctor’s advise to calm violent muscle spasms that disturb his ability to work. The spasms were because Coats’s was paralyzed in a car crash when he was a teenager. The firing came after a unplanned drug test was administered to Coats after he had been worked with Dish Network for three years.He said that he informed his supervisors in advance that he probably would fail the test.
According to the Associated Press reports, Coats’s lawyers are challenging his firing using a rule which is meant to make sure that cigarette smokers cannot be targeted for smoking off the job. In complaints, Dish Network has argued that companies such as it in Colorado would have to keep employees with marijuana-induced performance problems, and if the court wins they could lose the federal contracts.
Presently, Dish Network is taking help of federal employment law, which prohibits marijuana use to say that their firing was lawful. For making marijuana legal, Colorado has led the fight with voters favoring an initiative.
“Attitudes are changing toward marijuana. Laws are going to have to change, too. I’d like for this to enable people like me to find employment without being looked down upon”, said Coats.
Coats is making his argument under a state law that is meant to protect cigarette smokers from being fired for legal behavior offoffice hours.
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