Although many states have legalized the use of medicalmarijuana, under federal law any use of marijuana is illegal. Thissituation has caused problems for many employers that have strictdrug use policies. The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled thatemployees who use medical marijuana are not protected by thestate's "lawful activities statute" and can be fired, resolving theissue for employers in that state. [Coats v. Dish Network]

The employee in this case, Brandon Coats, is a quadriplegic whohas been confined to a wheelchair since he was a teenager. In 2009he registered for and obtained a state-issued license to usemedical marijuana to treat painfulmuscle spasms caused by his quadriplegia. Coats consumes medicalmarijuana at home, after work, and in compliance with his license and Colorado statelaw.

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Rosalie Donlon

Rosalie Donlon is the editor in chief of ALM's insurance and tax publications, including NU Property & Casualty magazine and NU You can contact her at [email protected].