Legal Marijuana Not Without Real Consequences
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Legal use of marijuana does not protect you from being fired from your job for lighting up – even in the privacy of your own home. Two states, Washington and Colorado, have passed laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use, and Alaska may have a similar measure on its August ballot. More than 20 states allow medical marijuana use. Yet employers still have the right in many states to fire workers who test positive for marijuana regardless of legality. Also, the Obama Administration will recognize the marriages of same-sex couples in Utah, and shameless characters on TV and why we watch them. Judy Muller guest hosts.
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Obama Administration to Recognize Utah Same-Sex Marriages ()
The Obama Administration today said it would recognize the marriages of some 1300 same-sex couples in Utah. This comes after the State of Utah said it would refuse to do so. The legal whiplash began in when a federal judge ruled that Utah's amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman violated the US constitution. That prompted a flood of same-sex marriages. When the Supreme Court granted Utah's appeal for a stay, the state said it would not recognize marriages that had already taken place. Attorney Doug NeJaime is a professor of law at the University of California, Irvine.
Marijuana Can Get You Fired -- Even When It's Legal ()
While the whole country is watching Washington State and Colorado to see how their laws legalizing marijuana work out, the federal government still considers pot to be an illegal substance and employers are caught in the middle. Should they follow federal or state law? Do workers know they can still be fired for lighting up, even if it's off the job? It happened to a quadriplegic man using medical marijuana at home for his pain. Even before Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational use, Brandon Coats had permission to use medical marijuana to alleviate pain. During the day, he worked as a customer service representative, and when his employers announced that employees would be drug-tested, he was honest about his home use of medicinal cannabis. Yet, when he tested positive, Dish Network fired him. Is his case a cautionary tale?
- John Ingold: Denver Post, @john_ingold
- Andrew Cohen: CBS Radio News, @CBSAndrew
- Curtis Graves: Mountain States Employers Council, @msecLegal
- Roger Roffman: University of Washington, @uwsocialwork
Today's Talking Point
The TV Characters We Love to Scorn ()
On Sunday, two series return to the airwaves — the HBO's Girls and Showtime's Shameless. Girls features as its main character a 24-year old woman who is so self-absorbed and self-sabotaging that we can't believe we're tuning in. Shameless is the American version of its British namesake, featuring the Gallagher clan of Chicago, who deal with lying, stealing, alcoholism and prurient sex. Hank Stuever, TV critic for the Washington Post, muses on why this despicable behavior has become so popular.
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