The Colorado Supreme Court on Tuesday heard arguments in a lawsuit brought by an employee of Dish Network who was dismissed after he tested positive for marijuana. The employee, Brandon Coats, has a state-issued medical marijuana license.
In April, an appellate court in Colorado ruled employees can be fired for testing positive for marijuana. Coats was fired by Dish Network in 2010 after he tested positive for marijuana—a violation of company policy. Coats is a quadriplegic. He said he never used marijuana on the job, and argued Dish Network’s policy violated a state law that bans companies from firing employees for off-duty, lawful activities.
Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 2000, and passed a law legalizing recreational marijuana in 2012. The appellate court ruling affirmed a lower court decision that marijuana use does not qualify as lawful because it is still illegal under federal law.