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Colorado lawmakers want to stop employers from firing people for using cannabis in their personal time

Two Colorado lawmakers want to pass a law to protect workers who use marijuana when they’re off the clock.

House Rep. Jevon Melton, D-Aurora, has introduced a bill to prevent businesses from firing employees for partaking in legal activities on their own time — even if the activities are only legal under state and not federal law. To pass, though, the bill will likely require some compromise to address expected objections from the business community.

Melton says the measure would correct an oversight in Colorado law.

“It was just a glaring gap that we have here in the statute, especially when we’re supposed to regulate marijuana like we are with alcohol,” Melton said. “If someone’s able to drink while they’re at home and on their free time, as long as they’re not coming into work intoxicated, then they’re not penalized with their employment.”

In the Colorado Supreme Court case Coats v. Dish Network, employee Brandon Coats appealed a lower court decision that sided with Dish Network in Coats’ firing after he failed a random drug test in 2010. Coats used medical marijuana to control seizures while he was away from work. [Read more at The Denver Post]

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