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Court Gives Employers The Nod On Firing Employees Who Use Marijuana In Colorado

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Employers in Colorado, United States can now lawfully fire workers who test positive for the marijuana, even if it was used off duty, according to a court ruling Thursday. This applies to both medical and recreational uses of the drug.

Colorado Court of Appeals found there is no employment protection for medical marijuana users in the state since the drug remains barred by the federal government. “For an activity to be lawful in Colorado, it must be permitted by, and not contrary to, both state and federal law,” the appeals court stated in its 2-1 conclusion.

Employees who smoke pot in Colorado must do so at their own risk. The marijuana and job debate came to pass when a Colorado case involving Brandon Coats, 33, a telephone operator for Englewood, Colorado-based Dish Network LLC. Coats, who was paralyzed in a car crash as a teenager and has been a medical marijuana patient in the state since 2009 was fired in 2010 for failing a company drug test, though his employer didn’t claim he was ever impaired on the job.

Coats made an attempt to sue Dish Network to get his job back but came up short when a trial court dismissed his claim in 2011. The judge agreed with Dish Network that medical marijuana use isn’t a “lawful activity” covered by a state law intended to protect cigarette smokers from being fired for legal behaviour off the clock. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than half of all states have such laws.

After the disappointing dismissal, Coats’ Attorney, Michael Evans, gave a broader perspective on the matter. “This case not only impacts Mr. Coats, but also some 127,816 medical marijuana patient-employees in Colorado who could be summarily terminated even if they are in legal compliance with Colorado state law.”

Marijuana supporters are feeling a bit ostracized because Colorado’s Lawful Off-Duty Activities law, the provision protecting cigarette smokers, prevents workers from being fired for legal behaviour off the clock

Coats told reporters on Thursday afternoon that he obtained a prescription for medical marijuana to deal with debilitating muscle spasms that would otherwise prevent him from working. He has been looking for a job ever since being dismissed by Dish.

“I’m not going to get better anytime soon,” said Coats. “I need the marijuana, and I don’t want to go the rest of my life without holding a job.”

The courts are saying that lawmakers could act to change the law to protect people who use marijuana for medical reasons, but there have been no plans to do that at the state Capitol.

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JUST IN: ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions On Mali

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ECOWAS countries
ECOWAS Countries

ECOWAS Countries

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US President, Donald Trump, Wife Test Positive For Covid-19

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Donald Trump and Melania
Donald Trump and Melania

Donald Trump and wife, Melania Trump

President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.

The President took to his official Twitter handle on Friday to make this announcement.

Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.

Also Read: What I Told Trump When He Accused Me Of Killing Christians – Buhari

On Thursday, he announced that his aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus which has killed over 1 million people around the world.

He further revealed that he and the first lady had taken the test and waiting for the results before announcing the outcome on Friday.

 

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Mali: N’Daw, Coup Leader Goita Sworn In As President, VP

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President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita
President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita

President of Mali, N’Daw, coup leader, Goita

Retired Army Colonel, Bah N’Daw has been sworn in on Friday as the interim president of Mali and he is to head a transitional government following last month’s military coup in the country.

The swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s capital city of Bamako, where Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

This administration is to lead the government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Also Read: Buhari Attends Virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit Over Mali Crisis

It will be recalled that the country’s military executed a coup last month (August 18) which successfully removed the nation’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, attended the ceremony alongside other members of the ECOWAS mediation team.

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