Home Healthcare Latest Developments In Discrimination Suit Prove The Rules May Be Changing For Medical Marijuana

Latest Developments In Discrimination Suit Prove The Rules May Be Changing For Medical Marijuana

2 minute read
by Robert Sheen

Massachusetts may be setting a new standard for employer tolerance of medical marijuana use by employees across the nation. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that an employee could not be dismissed from her job for using medical marijuana. The decision sets a potential precedent that recognizes employees who used medical marijuana are protected by state law, despite the use of the drug deemed illegal under federal law. Massachusetts state law allows the use and possession of medically prescribed marijuana.

The employee was using medical marijuana that had been prescribed to her to treat a disability. She had informed her employer that she was using medical marijuana, but was still dismissed when she failed a drug test. The employee sued claiming she was discriminated against because of her disability. The employer moved to dismiss the case, arguing that federal law makes the use of marijuana illegal, and that the employee was terminated for failing a drug test that must be passed by all employees, not because she had a disability. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), illegal drug use is defined by federal law and does not require an accommodation for a disability.

However, the state court disagreed with that argument and reversed the employee’s dismissal. The court ruled that medical marijuana use within the state is as legal and lawful as the use of any other prescribed medication. The court argued that the use of medical marijuana as a treatment for the disability was determined to be medically superior to other options that were allowed by the employer’s drug policy. The court also cited the employer for failing to discuss with the employee other possible treatment options before firing her.

With 29 states and the District of Columbia having laws in place allowing for the legal use of medical marijuana, the Massachusetts ruling makes it clear that arguing that the use of marijuana is illegal under federal law may not be enough to succeed in state courts when addressing issues involving the use of medical marijuana.

Companies need to understand how medical marijuana is treated in the states in which they operate. Companies also should review their policies to determine if there should be an accommodation for employees who use medical marijuana for health reasons.

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Summary
Latest Developments In Discrimination Suit Prove The Rules May Be Changing For Medical Marijuana
Article Name
Latest Developments In Discrimination Suit Prove The Rules May Be Changing For Medical Marijuana
Description
A disability discrimination suit in Massachusetts involving medical marijuana receives a shocking new twist that’s the first of its kind. Could the tides be changing for how we view medicinal marijuana use?
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The ACA Times
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Short URL of this page: https://acatimes.com/lpy
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