Medical Marijuana is currently legal in 14 states, as well as the Center of Columbia. Many other states are also considering legalizing cannabis for medical use. However, some users are still facing dire consequences for using medical marijuana, 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 treated uncommon, excepting the fact that these employees were legally authorized to use medical marijuana. Additionally is that there are few medical marijuana laws to protect medicinal marijuana employees. Even though the medical use of medical marijuana has been legalized, steps never have been taken to protect patients.
This is an unfortunate, and hopefully temporary, consequence of using medicinal medical marijuana. This is also an effect 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 the law.
Different states have different regulations concerning medical marijuana on the job. In Montana, the use of Medical Marijuana cannot be penalized by employers. In Arizona, employers must allow authorized employees to use medicinal cannabis while working. Maine strictly discourages medical marijuana use on the job, but allows the use of Medical Marijuana outside of work.
California medical marijuana laws are also confusing. There are no laws protecting employees, but since law suits have been widely publicized in the past, employers are less inclined to penalize employees that use Medical Marijuana. Regardless of where 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 the law.
Do not go into work damaged.
Many employers are frightened that the effects of medical marijuana will put an employee in danger. Many fear that if an employee switches into work damaged, they will be unable to do their job or be a danger to those around them. Even if an employee has a medical marijuana card, some employers are very much against their employees using medical marijuana.
The best way to protect yourself in this situation is to avoid entering work under the influence of medical marijuana. Keep from using prescription medical marijuana several hours prior to going into work if you live in circumstances where an employer can penalize medical marijuana use. While this may 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 affect their performance on the job.