Employers should make exceptions for medical marijuana prescriptions

Published Feb 21, 2020 01:00 p.m. ET
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An employer should not judge a person for having a medical marijuana prescription as the employee is doing their best to stay employed. The unfortunate thing is that this is just not always the case, and some people do not have employment or have lost their job due to medical marijuana prescriptions.

So how does this work? Well, we all know that an employer can ask for drug testing, and cannabis is on the list of drugs to be sought. Without a doubt, most people are upfront and let the managers know they have a cannabis card long before these tests take place, but not everyone has that luxury.

Well, there are some factors at play here. It depends on the type of job that you have. Is it a safe job? Are you operating machinery? Are people's lives at risk and so forth? The judgment call would be drawn out by the employer.

We know that driving while under the influence of cannabis is prohibited. So, if you have a job driving a motor vehicle, a prescription for marijuana may hinder that employment due to public safety. The question is, what if you are not using while at work? Would you be considered a danger? The answer, in short, is yes. Although there are some circumstances that an employer by law needs to accommodate, let us have a look at what that means.

The law regarding cannabis at work

The law prohibits any vaping or smoking of marijuana in an enclosed area for recreational or medical purposes. Although, if you have a prescription, you can consume edibles in an enclosed place. The law is protecting people that use cannabis for a medical reason in the workplace, just like any other drug that has been prescribed as long as this does not interfere with health and safety protocol or performing the duties at hand.

Say your job title is office administrator. Your employer should be accommodating in providing you with breaks throughout the day, allowing you to consume edibles for the disability. That is as long as your health care provider agrees that the consumption for the disability. It allows you to remain in good standing to complete the tasks that your job title entails.

Just like any other drug or alcohol, employers have the right to request that alcohol and drugs are not consumed during working hours. They also have a code that needs to be respected by them in accommodating cannabis consumption for a disability. This rule does not mean you can be high as a kite at work, but you can medicate for a diagnosed disability, and you must be able to perform the tasks that your job title entails.

What happens if marijuana impairs you in the workplace?

Marijuana use impairs, and even if it is for a diagnosed disability, if, at any point, it becomes a health and safety risk or you cannot perform your duties, the employer has full rights to request that it not be consumed. The employer does still have to accommodate with no hardship, so that means that they cannot terminate your employment.

This is wonderful, and we need to give some applause to these laws as they are doing their best to be fair. These laws allow people to continue working even with a medical marijuana prescription. So, if your employer is not following through on the law, you could have a very rightful lawsuit. This opens doors for people that suffer from extreme anxiety to be able to work still, and that is very valuable to our emotional well being.

Losing a job due to a disability can cause more stress and depression, and that creates a vicious circle. If you are a person that has a marijuana prescription, please follow the link below for more in-depth news on this topic as it could be beneficial for you or someone you know. Learn your rights so you can have the life and job you deserve.

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