An employee can still be fired even if they have a prescription for Medical Marijuana
The Legalization of Medical Marijuana Use Does Not Prevent An Employee from Being Terminated for Failing a Drug Test
It may seem odd, but the legalization of marijuana use does not prevent an employee from being terminated for failing a drug test because that employee tested positive for tetrahydrocannabinal (THC). THC is the mind altering ingredient in marijuana. Being fired is not solely the concern of recreational users either. Employees can be terminated or not hired based on marijuana use in states where it is legal and they have a medical prescription from their doctor. Brandon Coats, a Colorado man, learned this the hard way. He was fired from his job for testing positive for marijuana use. Mr. Coats had a legal prescription in the State of Colorado for medical marijuana due to suffering from quadriplegia and he never used during working hours. Yet despite all of this he was fired and his termination was upheld by the Colorado Supreme Court. See //www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/06/15/colorado-supreme-court-says-companies-can-fire-workers-for-using-medical-marijuana-in-their-off-hours/?utm_term=.aead552f8ad3 His termination was upheld due to the tension between state law and federal law.
29 states have legalized Medical Marijuana
States have begun flexing their muscles and using their sovereign powers to legalize marijuana use. States first began legalizing marijuana use for the treatment of illness and injuries. There are 29 states where medical marijuana is now legal. See //www.businessinsider.com/where-can-you-legally-smoke-weed-2017-1 Some states did not stop at legalizing marijuana only for medicinal purposes. Currently there are eight states where you can legally smoke marijuana for fun. See //medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000881 That means in over half the states some people are legally allowed to use weed.
About 60% of Americans Support Legalization of Medical Marijuana
While that may seem staggering it really only makes sense. Not only is the sale of marijuana a way for states to fill their ever shrinking budgets it coffers, public opinion on marijuana has shifted. In fact, the way Americans view marijuana use has changed markedly over the last 20 years. In 2016 about 60% of American supported legal marijuana use. See //www.gallup.com/poll/196550/support-legal-marijuana.aspx That is over double the amount of Americans who felt that way 20 years before. It makes sense that in light of their constituencies views on marijuana that state legislators would change state laws to fulfill the will of the people and make using marijuana legal.
Feds Don’t support Marijuana Legalization
The problem is while states are flexing their muscles and giving the people what they want, the federal government has not adapted to modern attitudes towards marijuana use. In fact under federal law it is still illegal as marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug. Accordingly, using marijuana use and possession of it is still technically an illegal activity. As it is illegal there is nothing preventing employers from having policies that prohibit their employees from using marijuana. This seems terribly unfair, but it is absolutely true. Even in states where weed is legal you can be fired, or not hired, for using it.
If you use marijuana either for medicinal reasons or for fun you need to protect yourself. If you are currently employed at a company that has a “drug free workplace” policy be vigilant. There are detox for drug test that you can keep on hand that can help prevent you from testing positive in the event you are selected for a random drug screening. (How to pass a urine drug test ) If you are looking for a job then find out if your potential employer drug tests new hires or their employees (New hire drug test and how to tell if a potential employer requires it). You may decide that taking a job only to lose it for legally using marijuana is not worth your time. Also, if you are looking for a job beware because some employers are now drug testing at the actual interview with the use of mouth swabs. (Best Detox Mouthwash and how to pass a mouth swab or saliva drug test).
Make your opinion on Marijuana Known!
If true legalization of weed, by both the state and federal government, is important to you, make sure your congressman knows. Also, make sure to vote for representatives that support its legalization at both the state and federal levels. Use your voice and your vote to ensure that marijuana is not just decriminalized, but fully legalized. Until the federal government takes action in making marijuana use legal you could still potentially lose your job for failing a drug test.
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