Increasingly, states across the nation are changing their laws relating to marijuana, and legalizing the substance in certain contexts -- mostly for medical uses. In Colorado, the drug has even been legalized for recreational use; however, that does not necessarily mean that users of marijuana will be immune from various consequences associated with using the substance -- even if the marijuana is being taken for medical purposes.
Man Claims Wrongful Termination After Fired for Pot Use
In a recent case, a Colorado quadriplegic and medical marijuana user was terminated because he failed a drug test over four years ago. The man has since claimed that he was wrongfully terminated, and that he requires medical marijuana to treat violent spasms related to his paralyzation. The man's case is now going before the Colorado Supreme Court.
The result of the court's decision on the matter could have a big effect on Colorado's marijuana smoking population in terms of how they are treated by their employers and what rights they have on the job. State laws in Colorado protect smokers of tobacco cigarettes from getting fired and other negative consequences; however, according to the man's employer in this case, medical marijuana is illegal under federal law and therefore the ex-employee cannot seek the same protections that tobacco users can.
Many employers throughout the nation have maintained a long history of performing drug tests on their workers. Some of these employers have strict anti-drug and anti-marijuana policies that result in the termination of any employee who fails a drug screening -- even if the drug was being used for medical reasons.
23 States Have Legalized Medical Marijuana So Far
So far, 23 states have legalized medical marijuana use. Nevertheless, ex-employees have lost wrongful termination cases relating to their firings. With regard to the instant Colorado case, though, there has not been any indication of how the Supreme Court justices plan to rule on the matter.
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