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The Daily Buzz: October 1, 2014


Colorado high court considers whether someone can be lawfully fired for pot use; for non-cancer related pain, painkiller risks may outweigh benefits; and Phil Collins says drinking due to "boredom" nearly killed him.

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Photo via Shutterstock

Photo via Shutterstock

Colorado High Court Hears Marijuana Firing Case
In a high-profile case with potential national implications, Colorado’s highest court is considering the case of Brandon Coats, a call-center worker who was fired in 2010 after testing positive for pot. Coats, who is partially paralyzed and uses a wheelchair, says he was a responsible worker who used marijuana after-hours to help control seizures and muscle spasms. Many employers across the country maintain no-tolerance, anti-pot policies, citing the federal prohibition of the plant, even as more states relax their laws.

For Back Pain or Headache, Do Painkillers Do More Harm than Good?
Prescribed opioids have been linked to well-documented problems in this country, with their nonmedical use leading to rising rates of overdose. Now for the first time, a major medical organization is claiming these drugs are often not even necessary. According to a study from the American Academy of Neurology, which continues to endorse use for severe cancer-related pain, the risks of using opioids to treat back pain, headaches and migraine might outweigh the benefits.

Chopper Targets California’s Small-Scale Illegal Marijuana Grows
If you’re a grower in the famed marijuana growing region of California known as the “Emerald Triangle,” you might have an extra reason to be paranoid. For the past month, local law enforcement and the feds have been eradicating tens of thousands of illegally grown pot farms in the area using a massive ex-military chopper. Though in the past, air raids targeted mainly large-scale pot farms, they’re now reportedly going after even the smaller farms with fewer than 50 plants.

Phil Collins Is Sober, Says He Nearly Died From Drinking
The British music legend says he quit booze 18 months ago after years of heavy drinking led to a near-fatal bout of pancreatitis. He went to rehab, but says he was no fan of the 12 Steps, because he’s “not a fucking alcoholic!” Rather, he attributes his alcohol use to “boredom” and says it’s been easy to stop: ”I don’t drink any more. And I’ve never fallen off the wagon. I’ve just been lucky.” Indeed!

Olympic Swimming Champ Michael Phelps Arrested for Drunk Driving
The 18-time Olympic gold medalist was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with DUI, speeding and crossing double lane lines. After his release, he tweeted, remorsefully: “I understand the severity of my actions and take full responsibility. I know these words may not mean much right now but I am deeply sorry to everyone I have let down.” This is his second DUI—he was last charged in 2004 and given 18 months probation.