CA Supreme Court To Rule on MMJ & Employment

CA Supreme Court To Rule on MMJ & Employment
Posted by CN Staff on November 21, 2007 at 06:04:17 PT
By Geoff Johnson
Source: California Aggie
California -- Within 90 days, the California Supreme Court will use the case of a medical marijuana patient who lost his job to determine whether or not companies can fire medical cannabis users for testing positive for marijuana.The ruling hinges on Gary Ross, a U.S. Air Force veteran who was honorably discharged from the military in 1980 because of back pains. Ross used the computer knowledge he learned to start a career as a computer assistant, said Ross' attorney Joseph Elford.
"While he was a computer assistant, he visited his doctor," Elford said. "His doctor suggested that he use marijuana to treat his back as opposed to some of the conventional pain medications that he had been taking."This treatment, however, led to Ross' termination at RagingWire telecommunications in 2001 when he tested positive for marijuana. Ross had previously informed his employer that he was approved for medical marijuana and used it regularly.Ross took his case to the Sacramento County Court, but the court ruled in favor of RagingWire, said Americans for Safe Access communication specialist Chris Hermie.State law has allowed the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes since Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act, was approved in 1996. However this remains in conflict with national law, as use or consumption of marijuana remains illegal on a federal level.RagingWire itself wouldn't violate any laws by employing Ross, Elford said. Certain safety-sensitive positions such as construction require their employees to be drug-free, but Ross' position did not meet this criteria."[RagingWire] throws in some lip service to the Drug Free Workplace Act," he said. "But that provides only to distribution or use of drugs in the workplace. The drug-free workplace has no effect here."The California Fair Employment and Housing act requires employers to accommodate their staff as long as it doesn't create hardship for the employer. Asking a business to install a wheelchair ramp might be difficult if the business is a family grocery store, Elford said. In this case, however, no action would be necessary on the part of RagingWire, he said."It's the one medication that helps Gary Ross sleep at night and in turn actually become a more productive worker," he said. "It's important to understand he does not claim or nor [sic] does he use marijuana on the job."The company has made no allegations that Ross' performance was impacted by his use of marijuana, he said.A similar case in Oregon ruled in favor of the employer in 2006, as the defendant's leg spasms did not qualify as a disability."There's not anything within the medical marijuana realm [in California] that has gone to court really on this," said Compassionate Coalition Communication Director Nathan Sands. "This is really going to be a groundbreaking case in that area, but there's been plenty of cases in the past regarding workers rights that have generally have come out in favor of the worker."When contacted, RagingWire declined to comment.Complete Title: California Supreme Court To Rule on Medical Marijuana and EmploymentSource: California Aggie, The (UC Davis, CA Edu)Author: Geoff JohnsonPublished: November 21, 2007Copyright: 2007 The California AggieContact: editor californiaaggie.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Americans For Safe Access Medical Marijuana and Employers High Court Takes Up Medical Marijuana Case
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on November 23, 2007 at 09:57:00 PT
Poll: Medicinal Purposes
The state Supreme Court is considering a case of a man who uses medical marijuana to ease his back pain and was fired from his job after testing positive for the drug. Employers say they could be liable for the actions of employees who use marijuana for medical purposes. Employees with medical marijuana prescriptions say they should be protected from termination. The state Supreme Court is expected to make a ruling during the next 90 days.***   
Should employers have the right to fire employees with prescriptions of medical marijuana? Yes, marijuana creates a legal problem for employers and a safety risk for customers and fellow workers.  No, the state's voters approved marijuana use for medical purposes and employees with prescriptions for the drug should be protected in the workplace. 
 Not sure Please Vote:
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on November 22, 2007 at 07:22:18 PT
I wanted to say the only thing I have faith in anymore is the American people. The life blood of our country. People are waking up like never before and that is my hope. Happy Thanksgiving!
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Comment #7 posted by Zandor on November 22, 2007 at 07:16:38 PT
Who do you think appointed new judges to the 9th circuit?Right it was under Bushes direct orders and if I remember the quote I heard "Bing California back in step with the party plan" is what the new US Attorney said at a meeting in palm desert. When he was threatening elected officials “if they approved medical marijuana they could face charges for aiding and abetting”. It may take the next president (not Hillery) to even balance out the current court in Washington.Don't think it will end with the 9th, no matter how they rule it will end up in Washington, where they will find another law they can manipulate and twist to suit the party line.Can you tell I have NO faith in America's justice system any longer?
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Comment #6 posted by Max Flowers on November 21, 2007 at 12:10:44 PT
CA Supreme Court justices
Thanks for the link Patrick. I don't know how much you can really tell from photos, but they actually look like nice, reasonable people to me, whereas the SCOTUS "justices" look like weird eccentrics to me.
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Comment #5 posted by Patrick on November 21, 2007 at 10:28:49 PT
The above article refers to the CALIFORNIA Supreme Court not the SUPREME Court of the United States. Bush has had no influence on the California Supreme Court at least at first glance but then everything is Bush’s fault right. Here is the California Court Page where you can learn about the justices involved in this decision…’t the Internet great!
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Comment #4 posted by Treeanna on November 21, 2007 at 09:55:05 PT
Just change the Court
All we have to do is add a couple more judges to the supreme Court...been done plenty of times in the past.
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on November 21, 2007 at 09:54:51 PT
Forgive me... but that name makes me think of a raging coke head or meth head.... all p.o.ed at the mild mannered and admirable person, that the raging wired coke or meth user, or it's possible he just runs on caffeine, making him a caffeine head, perceives, as a lowly disgusting pot head.
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Comment #2 posted by Zandor on November 21, 2007 at 08:36:31 PT
Don't get your hope's up
Remember this is Bush's court they don't need a reason other then they said so. They will make up a rule of they need to spot medical marijuana in its tracks. They take their orders right from the White House and I bet they don't rule on anything without permission from Bush.Lets face it with King George in office our chance of success in the next 5-8 years with this sitting court is almost as impossible as keeping row v wade a law. Remember they ruled that interstate commerce is the reason why you can't grow medical marijuana in the privacy of your home. Go figure that logic out; but don't spend to much time, it will give you a headache.Do not vote for a sitting politician Kick them ALL our of office! Send the message that the people still have power!
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Comment #1 posted by dongenero on November 21, 2007 at 07:36:15 PT
Ragingwire , where is your patriotism?
How do you like that.Gary Ross is a US military veteran, honorably discharged for a back injury he received in service to his country. He lives with chronic pain so on recommendation of his doctor he is treated with medical marijuana, as allowed by his state's law.Ragingwire fires him for testing positive for cannabis. That is the kind of karma that should insure Ragingwire's business tanks. Raging idiots.
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