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Medical Marijuana Laws Must Yield To Employer Drug Use Policy


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Medical Marijuana Laws Must Yield to Employer Drug Use Policy

 

Read more: http://technorati.com/politics/article/medical-marijuana-laws-must-yield-to1/#ixzz1P9HZU4nW

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Kristina Russell

Published: June 11, 2011 at 7:38 am

 

Read more: http://technorati.com/politics/article/medical-marijuana-laws-must-yield-to1/#ixzz1P9HgxocX

 

Marijuana for medical purposes can legally be prescribed in several states according to state laws however your employer drug policy will determine if you may have your job or not regardless of your prescription. A Washington state supreme court upheld the decision of a Colorado based company to dismiss an employee for failing her drug test, even though she had a valid prescription for marijuana usage. The employee worked for Tele Tech Customer Care, a customer service company subcontracted by Sprint at the time. The vote was 8 to 1, not even a close call.

 

The Court declared that the state medical marijuana law does not require employers to allow for medical marijuana usage outside of work. It further clarified that it by no means requires an allowance for usage at work. The court affirmed that the state’s Human Rights Commission, which is responsible for employee discrimination cases, is not allowed to handle Medical Marijuana based cases, due to it still being illegal at a Federal level.

 

The single supporting vote was placed by Justice Tom Chambers, who argued that citizens had intended for protections for prescription bearing patients when the medical marijuana law was voted into place in 1998. He is quoted by the Seattle Times as having stated the majority vote “jeopardized the clear policy” of the law. This is not the first employee who has taken this matter to court. In February of 2008 an employee of Walmart took the decision of termination to court in Michigan as well. That employee also lost and is intending to appeal.

 

The ruling by Washington State further confuses citizens as to what is legal and what is not. DOJ memorandums, attorney general letters, governor statements, police policy changes, and department of health involvement are spelling out a large problem in Washington and across the nation. It would seem a lot of finances are being wrapped up in arresting and prosecuting people who are attempting to follow the law. Clarification seems necessary on all levels.

 

 

 

Read more: http://technorati.com/politics/article/medical-marijuana-laws-must-yield-to1/#ixzz1P9HkzGnN

 

 

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Michael Komorn

 

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A key feature of Michigan Law is that an employer is not required to allow a MMJ patient to be IMPAIRED at work. This impairment is the controversy here, as federal law is clear (as is state law) and marijuana is illegal. The MMMA only prevents prosecution, it does not change the status of marijuana as an illegal substance. Right now I am dealing with a gentleman in the Petoskey area that was denied a drivers license because, in the words of the secretary of state, no safe level of MMJ on a drug test has been shown to be safe, and a positive test for MMJ therefore raises the question of impairment, so a road test cannot be given. While this is backwards, the state must prove actual impairment, the driver doesn't need to prove he isn't impaired, you see the argument that is being used. If we can't fight the state, where the law clearly protects us, how can we fight employers where it doesn't?

 

We need to do this stepwise. The state is resisting at every level- they wont form committees to allow additional conditions like anxiety and ptsd, so we can't get them added. They wont address the impairment issue, and above all they will continue to 'study the law' to determine their response and policy, but haven't formed the study group. Before we take on an employer, we need court precedence on a more clear cut case, like the secretary of state and driver's licenses. We need to force them to prove impairment, and that ruling can be extended to the private sector.

 

Take on a solid, winnable case and use it as a building block to applying the same logic to a less clear cut case. Force the hand of the secretary of state to prove impairment first, then extend that concept to existing wording in the law to cover employment issues.

 

Dr. Bob

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Does simply being registered with the mmmp as a patient and/or caregiver create just cause for an employer to fire that employee even if they pass a drug test? Do privacy laws afford any measure of protection in such an instance?

 

They have no way of knowing card status. They can't access the database. What they do is argue (wrongly)that a positive test indicates impairment. You pass, it isn't an issue.

 

Dr. Bob

not an attorney but play one on tv.

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They have no way of knowing card status. They can't access the database. What they do is argue (wrongly)that a positive test indicates impairment. You pass, it isn't an issue.

 

Dr. Bob

not an attorney but play one on tv.

 

 

An employer made a verbal statement (and off the record, of course) that "Any employee who has that card ( MMMP) might as well quit because they won't be working here".

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