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Colorado lawmakers kill bill to prohibit firing employees for using marijuana

As originally written, the bill would have allowed people to use marijuana outside of work.

DENVER — Colorado's lawmakers on Thursday killed a bill that sought to prohibit employers from firing or refusing to hire an employee based on their use of marijuana.

>Video above: Denver approves first marijuana hospitality establishment license

Before the fatal vote, a House panel unanimously chose to completely rewrite House Bill 1152, replacing it with a proposed task force to study medical marijuana use in employment. As originally written, the bill would have allowed people to use marijuana outside of work and allowed card-carrying medical marijuana individuals to use the drug during work without negative professional consequences.

"The original bill has been introduced five times in the legislature and each time it has failed,” said bill sponsor Rep. Edie Hooton, D-Boulder. “(This would have) opened up the conversation between employers and workers, which is in the best interest of both parties.”

The House Business Affairs and Labor Committee indefinitely postponed the bill in a bipartisan 12-1 vote, with only Rep. Tom Sullivan, D-Centennial, voting in support of the measure.

Under the rewritten bill, a task force would have been created to consider how medical marijuana users could be employed without creating safety issues in the workplace. The task force would have recommended legislation based on its findings, though lawmakers would not be obligated to pursue the legislation.

>9NEWS readers can view the full article at Colorado Politics.

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