There is much debate surrounding the use of medical marijuana, both in terms of its legalization and employment regulations. Many employers have strict policies that forbid the use of drugs, including marijuana.
But what happens if you are a medical marijuana patient with a prescription? Can your employer fire you for using medication prescribed to you by your doctor?
This blog post will explore the employment rights of medical marijuana patients and discuss what your options are if you find yourself in this situation.
Employment Rights of Medical Marijuana Patients
There are a few key things to know when it comes to the employment rights of medical marijuana patients.
Is Medical Marijuana Illegal?
First, medical marijuana is still illegal under federal law.
While many states are legalizing the use of medical marijuana, it is important to remember that it is still considered a Schedule I drug by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This means that employers who are subject to federal regulations (such as those in the transportation industry) are not required to accommodate the use of medical marijuana.
It also means that employers are within their rights to fire an employee who tests positive for marijuana, regardless of whether they have a prescription. It would not be considered illegal discrimination in the workplace.
Are There Laws that Protect Marijuana Patients?
In states where medical marijuana is legal, there may be laws that protect employees who use it for medicinal purposes.
For example, California’s Proposition 64 (also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act) includes language that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees for their lawful use of medical marijuana.
If you are a medical marijuana patient and you live in a state with such protections in place, your employer cannot fire you or take any other adverse action against you for using medication prescribed to you by your doctor. It is important to note that not all states have these types of laws.
Consider Other Options
Finally, if you are a medical marijuana patient and your employer does not allow the use of drugs, including marijuana, at work, you have two options.
You can either:
- a) Quit your job and find employment with a company that allows the use of medical marijuana; or
- b) Work out an accommodation with your employer.
If you choose to work out an accommodation with your employer, be clear about the parameters of that agreement. You may want to consider drafting a written agreement outlining what is allowed and what is not.
For example, you could agree that you will not smoke or vape marijuana at work and that you will only use it during your lunch break or after work hours.
What Does this Mean for You?
If you are a medical marijuana patient and you live in a state where the use of medical marijuana is legal, but your employer has a policy that prohibits the use of drugs at work, you may have options.
You should speak with an experienced employment discrimination lawyer to discuss your specific situation and find out what your rights are.
Get Legal Assistance Today!
An experienced employment discrimination lawyer will advise you of your rights under the law and help you determine the best course of action for your situation if you believe you are facing discrimination in the workplace. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
At Levine and Blit, our workplace discrimination lawyers will fight for your rights! We have experience handling a wide range of employment discrimination cases, including those involving medical marijuana. We are here to help you every step of the way.