Big marijuana decision coming Monday

DENVER – A highly anticipated Colorado Supreme Court decision on an employee's right to use marijuana will come out Monday.

Brandon Coats maintains he was improperly fired from his job at Dish Network in 2010 after testing positive for marijuana. Coats, a quadriplegic, worked as a customer service representative for the company for years.

Lower courts have repeatedly ruled in Dish Network's favor, but last year the Colorado Supreme Court agreed to hear his case. The decision could impact businesses across the state as they continue to employ not only medical marijuana users but recreational users as well.

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As of now, Colorado law affords employee's little if any protection should an employer decide to fire someone who fails a drug test for marijuana.

Coats uses medical marijuana to control involuntary muscle spasms and voluntarily notified Dish Network that any drug test would come up positive for THC.

The original lawsuit said Coats "only used medical marijuana as a licensed patient in the privacy of his own home after work hours."

The lawsuit was filed before the passage of Amendment 64, which legalized the limited use of recreational marijuana for people over the age of 21. Legal observers say Monday's decision could very well provide some guidance on the recreational side as well.

(KUSA-TV © 2015 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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