Local Man's Firing for Medical Pot Goes to State's High Court

November 04, 2007

George Warren, KXTV News 10

California's medical marijuana law is facing a critical test Tuesday morning. The state Supreme Court will decide if an employee can be fired for off-duty marijuana use.

Gary Ross, 45, was fired from his job at a network server center in Sacramento in 2001 just a week after being hired.

The employer, RagingWire, discovered Ross used marijuana to treat an old back injury. In a statement to News10, RagingWire defended the firing because Ross knew he could be called in to work at any time.

But Ross believed he was the victim of discrimination because of the type of medication he was using and hired an attorney to try to get his job back.

"That why I got my lawyer in the first place," he told News10 on the eve of the Supreme Court hearing.

But Ross' dispute with his former employer soon turned into an important test case for California's 1996 medical marijuana law.

Advocates of medicinal pot are supporting Ross, while employer groups have lined up behind RagingWire.

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