Understanding Medical Marijuana Use & Drug Tests & More
By now, you should be familiar with The Massachusetts Act for the Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s a good idea to give it read through it thoroughly. The law went into effect in 2013 and, as it commonly happens, the legislative branch passed the responsibility of ironing out details to the judiciary branch. There are still many grey areas surrounding workplace rights, but thanks to a recent ruling by the courts, the answers to some important employment questions may now have answers.
Can I Be Fired for Having a Medical Marijuana Card in MA?
No. Having a medical marijuana card in regards to employment status was a source of uncertainty for years until a landmark Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling in 2017 (BARBUTO v ADVANTAGE SALES AND MARKETING.) In this decision, Chief Justice Grants ruled that “the use and possession of medically prescribed marijuana by a qualifying patient is as lawful as the use and possession of any other prescribed medication.” Firing an employee for cannabis use “effectively denies a handicapped employee the opportunity of a reasonable accommodation” as required by federal law.
What if I Fail a Drug Test?
As of now, the answer is still no. The deciding case involved a woman who medicated with cannabis at home to treat Crohn’s disease. She applied to a company and was hired after disclosing her medical marijuana use. However, she was fired during her first day on the job after failing a drug test due to traces of cannabis in her bloodstream. The ruling determined that as long as the woman wasn’t intoxicated at work, her workplace could not discriminate against her for medicating on her own time.
When in Doubt…
MMJ use and employment is a very complicated issue with high stakes. We are not lawyers and don’t claim to be experts in Massachusetts civil law. If there’s a possibility that you may run into an issue regarding employment or drug testing with a medical card, contact a qualified attorney in your area.
Reach Out to Revolutionary Clinics with Your MMJ Questions
What we are experts in is medical cannabis. We are happy to announce that Revolutionary Clinics in Somerville will soon be joined by a second location in Cambridge at 110 Fawcett Street. If you’re a medical marijuana patient in Mass our dispensaries are the place to go for the best weekly specials and the best medical marijuana in the Commonwealth.