Medical Marijuana — How Are Employers Replying to the Legalization of Medical Marijuana?
Medical Marijuana is currently legal in 14 states, as well as the Region of Columbia. Many other states are also considering legalizing cannabis for medical use. However, some users are still facing dire consequences for using pot, even if they are legally able to do so.
On multiple occasions, employers have terminated or failed to hire applicants for failing a drug test. This wouldn’t be regarded unexpected, apart from the fact that these employees were legally authorized to use pot. Also is that there are few pot laws to protect medicinal marijuana employees. Even though the medical use of pot has been legalized, steps haven’t been taken to protect patients.
This is an unfortunate, and hopefully temporary, consequence of using healing pot. This is also a result that many patients fail to consider. While the possibility of work related problems should not stop people from using the cannabis they are legally prescribed to, workers will need to take a few precautions to protect themselves.
Two Tips for Medical Marijuana Users:
Know your protection under the law.
Different states have different regulations concerning pot at work. In Montana, the use of Medical Marijuana cannot be reprimanded by employers. In Arizona, employers must allow authorized employees to use healing cannabis while working. Maine strictly forbids pot use at work, but allows the use of Medical Marijuana outside of work.
California pot laws are also confusing. There are no laws protecting employees, but since legal cases have been widely publicized in the past, employers are less inclined to penalize employees that use Medical Marijuana. Wherever you live, make sure to check the laws concerning medical cannabis and employment. The best way to protect yourself is to know what is within your protection under the law.
Do not go into work reduced.
Many employers are scared that the effects of pot will put an employee in danger. Many fear that if an employee assumes work reduced, they will be unable to do their job or be a danger to those around them. Even if an employee has a pot card, some employers are very much against their employees using pot.
The best way to protect yourself in this situation is to avoid doing work consuming pot. Stay away from using prescription pot a period of time before heading into work if you live in a situation where an employer can penalize pot use. While this might be difficult, especially if you are dealing with constant pain or another debilitating condition, it may be necessary. It is important for employees to prove that using Medical Marijuana does not make them irresponsible and that the substance does not restrict their performance face to face.