In some states, those suffering from certain diseases are given medical marijuana cards. This allows those patients to purchase, or grow, a certain amount of marijuana to help treat their illness. However, despite some states allowing people to utilize marijuana, it is still an illegal drug to the federal government. This juxtaposition of standards has left many wondering if they can be fired for using medical marijuana to help treat their illness.
Washington State Says Employer Can Fire You For Smoking Weed
The latest decision by the Washington Supreme Court upheld the ruling that a company who fired a woman for failing a required drug test due to marijuana use, despite the fact that she had a valid medical marijuana prescription, is allowed. The employee worked for TeleTech Customer Care in 2006, but was fired after only a week of training after she failed the required drug testing. The other blow to the employee is that she cannot sue for discrimination since medical marijuana use is still illegal under federal law.
The decision by the Washington Supreme Court has been interpreted to mean that the state medical marijuana law does not require employers to accommodate those who utilize the drug outside of work. However, employers are allowed to ban employees from smoking marijuana while on-site at work.
Why Do Some Oppose The Marijuana Employee Firing Ruling?
Those who are against this ruling, including Justice Tom Chambers point to the voters will. He points to the voters support of the 1998 law that allowed medical marijuana as a reason not to allow the employee to be fired. He wrote, that the decision “jeopardizes the clear policy” of the law by discouraging others from gaining valid prescriptions for fear of retribution from employers.
It’s important to note that this is only the ruling in Washington state and not the view taken by every state.
What do you think? Should a person with a medical marijuana card be to pass a drug test when they test positive for marijuana? Should a company be allowed to fire someone for medical marijuana use?
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