Medical Marijuana Users Seek Protection at Work

by Salvatore P. Ciulla on November 15, 2014 · 0 comments

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Although medical marijuana has been legal in California for more than 18 years, there are no state provisions that protect employees who use medical marijuana from repercussions at work.


Many workplaces have “drug-free” policies and designations, and medical marijuana is considered a drug in that sense until the FDA takes it off the schedule 1 controlled substances list. Until that happens, it’s up to each state to legislate protections for medical marijuana patients who face consequences at work.


There are only seven states that currently protect medical marijuana users at work. Most recently, the New York State Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act requires employers to treat medical marijuana users the same as anyone else who relies on medication to function in the workplace. However, employers are still allowed to discipline employees who come to work “impaired.” The term is problematic since there is no definition or legal limit for when reasonable use ends and impairment begins.


Most employers are on their own as far as coming up with workplace policies for medical marijuana patients. For those employers that rely on Federal funding, contracts, or grants, medical marijuana policies favoring employees can put them at odds with federal policies. Case law is currently evolving with Davis v. New Jersey Transit, the first failure to accommodate lawsuit from a medical marijuana patient.


The Law Office of Salvatore Ciulla located in Orange County, California, represents individuals accused of murder and manslaughter, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and embezzlement, child abuse and domestic violence, narcotics possession and sales, drunk driving (DUI) and vehicular homicide, sexual assault and three strikes cases. We also take Juvenile Court cases and all misdemeanor offenses.


Our mission is to provide the best legal representation and counsel to all clients. Every client and every case is important. Call us at 714-542-0500 for a free analysis of your case and/or charges, or contact us at SalCiullaLaw.com.

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