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Colorado court: Workers can be fired for using pot off-duty

Associated Press logoAssociated Press 6/15/2015 By KRISTEN WYATT, Associated Press

DENVER (AP) — Colorado's Supreme Court has ruled that a medical marijuana patient who was fired after failing a drug test cannot get his job back.

The case has big implications for employers and pot smokers in states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana. Colorado became the first state to legalize recreational pot in 2012.

AP Photo: FILE - In this April 25, 2013, file photo, attorney Michael Evans, left, listens in his office in Denver, as his client Brandon Coats talks about the Colorado Court of Appeals ruling that upheld Coats being fired from his job after testing positive for the use of medical marijuana. Pot may be legal in Colorado, but you can still be fired for using it, but the state’s highest court could change that Monday, June 15, 2015, in a decision with national implications as more states authorize marijuana use for medical or recreational purposes. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File) © AP Photo FILE - In this April 25, 2013, file photo, attorney Michael Evans, left, listens in his office in Denver, as his client Brandon Coats talks about the Colorado Court of Appeals ruling that upheld Coats being fired from his job after testing positive for the use of medical marijuana. Pot may be legal in Colorado, but you can still be fired for using it, but the state’s highest court could change that Monday, June 15, 2015, in a decision with national implications as more states authorize marijuana use for medical or recreational purposes. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File) Though the Colorado case involves medical marijuana, the court's decision could also affect how companies treat employees who use the drug recreationally.

Brandon Coats is a quadriplegic who was fired by Dish Network after failing a drug test in 2010. The company agreed that Coats wasn't high on the job but said it has a zero-tolerance drug policy.

Courts in California, Montana and Washington state also ruled against medical marijuana patients fired for pot use.

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