Court: OK to Fire Colorado Pot Smokers

Colorado’s supreme court affirmed the right of employers to fire workers for smoking pot off-duty, even if they consume marijuana for medical reasons. In a unanimous ruling, the justices upheld a lower court’s ruling that Dish Network was allowed to fire Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic man who was prescribed medical marijuana for muscle spasms, for failing a random drug test. Colorado allows businesses to set their own guidelines about off-duty use of marijuana, and the court found that only activities legal under federal and state law are allowed under the Lawful Off-Duty Activities Statute. “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,” wrote Justice Allison H. Eid.