John Sanders holds up an ounce of marijuana as hundreds gathered at a smoke-in to celebrate legalization of marijuana in Washington, Dec. 6, 2012, at the Seattle Center International Fountain. Sanders said he wasn't smoking that night, but wanted to demonstrate his right to carry. Colin Diltz/The Seattle Times/AP
Medical marijuana patient Roger Lingle sniffs a starter plant he bought at the Canna Pi medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle, Washington, Nov. 20, 2012. Washington State's Initiative 502, that was approved by voters in the Nov. 6, 2012 general election, legalized marijuana in Washington State, effective Dec. 6, 2012. Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. Anthony Bolante/Reuters
President Obama speaks at the Interior Department in Washington, Dec. 5, 2012. The president says he won't go after Washington state and Colorado for legalizing marijuana. In a Barbara Walters interview airing Friday on ABC, Obama is asked whether he supports making pot legal. He says, 'I wouldn't go that far.' Carolyn Kaster/AP
Marijuana plants flourish under the lights at a grow house in Denver, Nov. 8, 2012. Ed Andrieski/AP
Mexico's President Felipe Calderon, with back to camera, greets Costa Rica's President Laura Chinchilla as Belize's Prime Minister Dean Barrow, (r.), and Honduras' President Porfirio Lobo look on after a press conference in Mexico City, Nov. 12, 2012. Mexico and the three Central American nations are calling for a review of international drug policies after two US states voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Alexandre Meneghini/AP
University of Washington students walk on the campus between classes in Seattle, Oct. 23, 2012. While marijuana use is about to become legal in Washington and Colorado, that won't mean it will be welcome at the states' colleges and universities. Instead, federal laws and college rules of conduct will combine to keep pot illegal on campuses. Elaine Thompson/AP
Michael Cardenas shows medical marijuana he purchase outside Arizona Organix, Dec. 6, 2012, the first legal medical marijuana dispensary to open in Glendale, Ariz. Supporters of medical marijuana in Minnesota say they plan to push for legalized medical marijuana in 2013 arguing that medical decisions should be left to doctors rather than police. Seventeen states, including Arizona, and the District of Columbia allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and Colorado and Washington recently legalized marijuana possession for adults with small amounts of the drug. Ross D. Franklin/AP
David Kosmecki talks to Idaho State Police Trooper Justin Klitch (r.) in Fruitland, Idaho, June 20, 2012. Kosmecki was stopped and charged with possession of marijuana after leaving Oregon. Now that marijuana is legal in neighboring Washington state, police are giving some advice to Oregon pot users. Nigel Duara/AP
From left, actor Danny Glover, singer Melissa Etheridge, actor/comedian Hal Sparks, and marijuana legalization advocate Sarah Lovering participate in a news conference on Oct. 21, 2010, in support of California's Proposition 19 to regulate, control, and tax marijuana. Chris Pizzello/AP
J.P. Sesak (l.) and Danny Bears, members of the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department, prepare to hook approximately 300 pounds of marijuana plants to a CHP helicopter at a marijuana garden in a remote area of El Dorado County, Calif. in 2009. Randall Benton/The Sacramento Bee/AP/FILE
Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) (r.), discusses government data on marijuana abuse with Dr. Drew Pinsky, Board Certified Addiction Specialist and host of 'Celebrity Rehab,' during a tour of the Pasadena Recovery Center on Oct. 20, 2010 in Pasadena, Calif. Damian Dovarganes/AP
Recreational marijuana use will soon be legal in Colorado and Washington. As employers in those states wrestle with whether to adjust their personnel policies, courts tilt toward firms' zero-tolerance rules in firings. Most Americans see that as unfair, at least one poll shows.
Daniel B. Wood, Staff writer /
December 3, 2013
A worker in Colorado who undergoes a random drug test is found to test positive for marijuana use, but in less than a month pot-smoking will be legal there. Can a company with a zero-tolerance policy for illegal drug use still fire that worker, or should it instead adjust its policy on employee drug use?