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Brandon Coats

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4_252013_marijuana-ruling-28201.jpg

Brandon Coats, a medical-marijuana patient, was fired from his job after failing a drug test. The Colorado Court of Appeals upheld the firing, citing federal law.

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The Colorado case of Brandon Coats is giving employers pause. Coats, 33, was a telephone operator for Dish Network. Paralyzed in a teenage car crash, he’s also been a medical marijuana patient in Colorado since 2009. Coats was fired in 2010 for failing a company drug test, though the employer didn’t claim he was ever impaired on the job. Coats sued, and the case is pending before the Colorado Court of Appeals. The case will test the bounds of Colorado’s Lawful Off-Duty Activities Law, which says workers can’t be dismissed for legal behavior off the clock. It was enacted in 2007 to protect tobacco users. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

20121209-174557-pic-434875571.jpg

20121209-174557-pic-434875571.jpg

The Colorado case of Brandon Coats is giving employers pause. Coats, 33, was a telephone operator for Dish Network. Paralyzed in a teenage car crash, he’s also been a medical marijuana patient in Colorado since 2009. Coats was fired in 2010 for failing a company drug test, though the employer didn’t claim he was ever impaired on the job. Coats sued, and the case is pending before the Colorado Court of Appeals. The case will test the bounds of Colorado’s Lawful Off-Duty Activities Law, which says workers can’t be dismissed for legal behavior off the clock. It was enacted in 2007 to protect tobacco users. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)