I recently read an article which reported about a woman in Connecticut who had her job offer as Activities Manager in a nursing home rescinded after she tested positive for cannabis, despite the fact that she revealed her legal status as a medical marijuana patient at the time. She took the employer to court, challenging the legality of this action, and won.
Previously, I wrote about the issue with being a licensed or certified professional and a medical marijuana patient. In another blog, I wrote about how medical marijuana laws protect a patient from criminal prosecution but do not exempt an employee from work place policies or disciplinary action related to cannabis use. Well this case challenges all of that!
The outcome of this case was a little unexpected, but presents itself as a game changer, and sets a precedent when it comes to hiring and employing individuals who are medical marijuana patients. Successfully challenging the policies of the potential employer and laws of the land opens a “Pandora’s Box” of issues and questions, and not in a bad way. Will this lead to a revision of drug-free work place policies? Will this stimulate increased specificity with pre-employment drug testing? Will medical marijuana patients and medicinal cannabis be viewed and treated the same as those who take more traditional medications?
Answering these very questions is critical when it comes to medical marijuana patients and their careers. The court findings certainly establish case law for patient and worker rights. It also represents another step in the advancement of medical marijuana’s perception and acceptance as medicine equal to that of traditional medications. What happens next remains to be seen, but this author is optimistic.