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Colorado Lawmakers Decide Employers Can Still Fire Employees Who Use Marijuana at Home

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State lawmakers have rejected a bill that would have prevented businesses from firing workers who use marijuana outside of the office. KUNC’s Scott Franz has more.

Democratic Representative Jovan Melton of Aurora argued the law should be changed after a quadriplegic Dish Network employee in Colorado was fired ten years ago for using medical marijuana at home.

MELTON: Basically without this bill we’re saying that only the retired and unemployed are safe to participate in something that voters overwhelming said is legal in this state.

But the House business affairs and labor committee unanimously rejected it, with several lawmakers saying it went too far. Opponents also said the testing for marijuana is not good enough yet to determine whether an employee is using the drug at home or at work.

Scott Franz is a government watchdog reporter and photographer from Steamboat Springs. He spent the last seven years covering politics and government for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, a daily newspaper in northwest Colorado. His reporting in Steamboat stopped a police station from being built in a city park, saved a historic barn from being destroyed and helped a small town pastor quickly find a kidney donor. His favorite workday in Steamboat was Tuesday, when he could spend many of his mornings skiing untracked powder and his evenings covering city council meetings. Scott received his journalism degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is an outdoorsman who spends at least 20 nights a year in a tent. He spoke his first word, 'outside', as a toddler in Edmonds, Washington. Scott visits the Great Sand Dunes, his favorite Colorado backpacking destination, twice a year. Scott's reporting is part of Capitol Coverage, a collaborative public policy reporting project, providing news and analysis to communities across Colorado for more than a decade. Fifteen public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.
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