Colorado workers can be fired for smoking pot outside work, court rules

Colorado workers can be fired for smoking pot outside work, court rules
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The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that employers can fire workers who use marijuana, even though medical and recreational use of the drug is legal throughout the state.  

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The state Supreme Court said Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic who was fired from his job at Dish Network for failing a drug test in 2010, is not entitled to get his job back, The Associated Press reported.

The company agreed Coats wasn’t high on the job and smoked marijuana for medicinal purposes, but Dish Network has a zero-tolerance policy. According to the state's constitution, employers are not required to amend their workplace policies to accommodate employees' marijuana use.

In siding with the lower court's decision to uphold the firing, Colorado's high court said pot can't be considered legal if outlawed at the federal level.  

In addition to Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, Washington state and Washington, D.C., have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, and 23 states and D.C. allow its use for medical reasons.