Courts Are Beginning to Rule Against Employers Who Discriminate Against Medical Marijuana Users
Published on Oct 2, 2018
With 31 states in the U.S. having legalized medical marijuana the amount of patients consuming cannabis medication is growing more every year. While many of these medical marijuana patients may be old enough to be retired or even young enough to be in school, there are no doubt large amounts of patients who are actively employed. For those patients who rely on an employer for their income it can be intimidating when it comes to drug testing due to medical marijuana. THC, found in many different medical marijuana products, can stay in a persons body for weeks after being consumed despite the effects having worn off in hours. A few employers in marijuana legal states have decided to stop testing for cannabis altogether, but there are a growing number of legal cases where a potential or former employer is being sued for firing or denying an employee because their medical marijuana caused them to fail a drug test. In many cases the employees medical marijuana use was disclosed far before the drug test yet when the results yielded THC they were still fired or denied. But there seems to be a noticable change in the outcome of these court cases. More and more medical marijuana patietns are winning these cases against the employers which is signifying a drastic change in how the courts view the legitimacy of medical marijuana. There are even 9 states that have laws specifically protecting medical marijuana patients against descrimination in the workplace like this. It has been a long time coming, but it seems the tides are shifting and medical marijuana is here to stay.
In Massachusetts, the state’s highest court ruled last year that a sales and marketing company wrongly fired a worker after her first day on the job after she tested positive for marijuana, which she used under the state’s medical marijuana law to treat her Crohn’s disease. Also last year, in Rhode Island, the state Supreme Court said a college student was wrongly denied an internship at a fabric company where officials refused to hire her after she acknowledged she could not pass a drug test because she used medical marijuana.