Workers Can Be Fired for Using Medical Pot

Workers Can Be Fired for Using Medical Pot
Posted by CN Staff on January 24, 2008 at 12:07:37 PT
By Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco, CA -- An employee who uses medical marijuana at home can be fired for testing positive for the drug at work, the California Supreme Court ruled today.In a 5-2 decision, the court said Proposition 215, the 1996 state initiative that allowed Californians to use marijuana for medical purposes with a doctor's recommendation, did not protect workers from dismissal for violating federal drug laws.
Prop. 215 was intended only to exempt medical marijuana users and their caregivers from prosecution under state drug laws, the court said."We have no reason to conclude the voters intended to speak so broadly, and in a context so far removed from the criminal law, as to require employers to accommodate marijuana use," Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar said in the majority opinion. Dissenting Justice Joyce Kennard said an employee who uses medication outside work to remedy pain or illness, and whose job performance is not affected, should be protected by state disability laws from arbitrary firing.The voters who passed Prop. 215 "surely never intended that persons who availed themselves of its provisions would thereby disqualify themselves from employment," said Kennard, joined by Justice Carlos Moreno.The court ruled against Gary Ross, a 45-year-old computer technician who was fired by a Sacramento firm for testing positive for marijuana despite a doctor's note saying he needed the drug to combat back spasms that cause severe pain.Ross, according to his lawsuit, injured his back while in the Air Force in 1983 and could find no relief from the spasms until 1999, when his doctor recommended marijuana. Snipped:Complete Article: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)Author: Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff WriterPublished: Thursday, January 24, 2008Copyright: 2008 Hearst Communications Inc.Contact: letters sfchronicle.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Americans For Safe Access Court: Medical Pot Not OK at Work Court To Rule on Employees' Rights
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Post Comment