Colorado’s legalization of marijuana has raised a lot of brand-new legal issues, including whether employers can fire workers for smoking weed on their own time.The Denver Post reported on such a case Monday in the state’s court of appeals that has gotten more attention since the state legalized pot.
Dish Network operator Brandon Coats was a medical marijuana patient who claims he was fired after testing positive for marijuana even though there was no evidence he smoked it on the job.
Even though Coats’ suit against Dish involves medical marijuana, the case is making people wonder whether employers can prohibit any pot-smoking now that it’s legal in Colorado.
Denver attorney Vance Knapp predicts the appeals court will side with Dish because pot is still very much illegal under federal law, the Post reported.
Employers are also apparently optimistic about their ability to keep barring workers from smoking pot even if it’s legal in the state where they work, the Seattle Times has reported.
National employers in particular will be loath to bend their pot policies for workers in Colorado and Washington, which also legalized pot earlier this month.
“I think people who voted for 502 [Washington’s pot legalization law] will be really surprised that if you use it in your home, in accordance with the imitative, you can still get fired,” attorney Michael Subit told the Times.
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