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Employment and Medical Marijuana

Employment and medical cannabis

While medical marijuana is legal in California under CA SB 420 and Proposition 215, employers are still allowed to discriminate for employment if a patient admits to using medical marijuana or if the medication shows up on a urinalysis. In order to completely amend this, there must be a complete change in federal law.

Americans for Safe Access, a pro-medical marijuana organization, believes in and has fought for the right of patients to be given employment as long as they use marijuana in their off-hours and show to be competent in their job duties. However, this will likely not occur for several years.

In the 2008 case of Ross v. Raging Wire, the California Supreme Court ruled that Raging Wire had the right to terminate the job offer they gave to a potential employee, Gary Ross. Ross was a veteran who was prescribed medical marijuana for chronic back pain, lost his job offer from RagingWire Telecommunications when came up positive for cannabis on a pre-employment drug test. When he informed his potential employer about his patient status, they immediately withdrew their job offer and the case was won by the company.

After this case, ASA began conspiring with State Senator Mark Leno to pass A.B. 2279, which would safeguard medical cannabis patients from experiencing discrimination with regards to employment. However in the Fall of 2008, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill, causing efforts to fix this injustice to continue today.

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happygrow | Nov 3, 2012
 
Dear Guest above, UNEDUCATED IMBECILES NOT WELCOME
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Guest | Apr 1, 2012
 
Personally, if I was a employer and I was looking to hire a person and found out he took MMJ, I would not hire him either unless there is some way to tell if he is clean at the time he is working and not stoned on it. The reason I say this is I worked with guys stoned on MJ and one of them ran over a old lady customer and dragged her for many feet with a stacker which is much like a large forklift but has a flat bed instead of forks for lifting furniture up into the racks. She had her whole hip and thigh ripped open because he was always high at work and did not notice her walking in front of him or her screaming for that matter. This guy and a lot of the guys in the warehouse toked for fun and not medical reasons. I am against unsafe practices like that. So if a MJ user wither for medical or not is high on the job or on any other medications that can impair your ability to safely move large machinery around then that guy or gal needs to go or be let out on medical leave. I wouldn't hire a guy with a bad back also because if he lifts something wrong his back is going to flair back up and he will put a claim against my employer. Now there may be some jobs that are not a danger to do and a guy high on MJ could do without causing a safety issue. Can't think of any but if there is then in that case I do not see how they could not hire the guy. But like even Walmart is a serious place to work. You have the public and you could be towing around a pallet jack loaded with a large load and not see a little kid because your so high and wham. That kid is crushed by your load due to your being to spacey to realize the danger at the time. I caught one of the supervisors cleaning his weed in my repair Shop at Levitz Furniture and I warned him I would report it the next time he did it. He did it anyway and I reported it. I even told him why he should not be using that stuff on the job. After I saw the seeds on my work bench again I brought in the manager and showed him. He then went to that supervisor and told him to look for any employees who are going in there and cleaning their seeds out of the MJ and using it. That Supervisor came to me and asked why I told on him. I said I did not tell on him but let the manager no some one was doing it. I gave no names. That supervisor was mad as all you know what. I laid it out to him like this. First off I warned him. Second he did it any way again. Third he was not going to listen to me and last if he does not stop doing it I will name names next. I again told him that using MJ on the job was not a safe work environment and he was a danger to himself and others if he was doing so, which he was. He quit 2 weeks later. All he had to do was not use it at work but he felt he was my supervisor and he could do as he pleased. Since he was a working supervisor which means he used all the same equipment all the other warehouse personnel used he was a danger while on that MJ. I know you guys are saying to yourselves I can handle this, I can maintain and etc. That is bull. This stuff you guys are using is way more potent than what I used when I was a teenager and I could not work on that MJ back in that day. I knew better. This stuff you guys are using today kicks your tail end. Like I said that poor elderly lady who was just walking through the warehouse to the main entrance at Levitz was doing nothing wrong and yet she got ripped wide open and hurt real bad due to those guys at that time being high. Our employer back then did not require blood testing and drug testing of any kind but because of that type of situation it is in force today. It cost Levitz for that one incident more than $2,000,000 That employee could work his whole life there and not be able to pay that back because of his negligence. If you use it for medical reasons then take medical leave or disability insurance and etc. But I would not hire a injured guy who could turn around and blame my work as the cause of his injury and who had to take MJ or any powerful pain killer to keep working injured. Even a simple job like pushing a lawn mower can become dangerous if you are high on MJ. What if the lawnmower jams up on a rock or a hole under the weeds or grass and your too high to realize it and keep walking and your foot slips under the lawnmower hood where the blade is? There goes a foot. Now on the other hand when I toked I was making horse cinches by piece work. I don't remember how much I was paid but I made one cinch in 10 minutes average and I made the record of making on in 8.5 min. Beating the old record there. I was higher than a kite on one night I worked late and when I came back the next day I had a whole bunch of ruined cinches I had to redo all over. That was not a dangerous job but it did require perfection and skill to make them right. I messed them up royal that night and I also knocked my best friend out that night because he too was high and was pushing me around trying to get me to make his cinches for him. I warned him first but one punch and he was out like a light. He should have listened to my warning. That was back in Texas and back then you get caught with one joint and you went to jail for a long time. Suffice it to say I quit toking years ago. But I was not in severe pain like I am now. Now I need the stuff for the medicinal reasons. Maybe if your out in a field picking grapes or something like that getting high on MJ is fine while you work but anything with anything sharp or that requires skill or machinery, forget it. Even sales you need to be sharp minded and MJ dulls your senses too much. When I cam to California I was 17 and I meet another Texan who was 20 and we use to play the guitar together. He always wanted to get high and play. Me I took one or two tokes of Jamaican Red or Acapulco Gold and I wiped out and could not even play anything on the guitar. I had to sleep it off and it use to make him so upset because he wanted to get high and jam. You know Jim Crochy, James Taylor, Cat Stevens and etc., that kind of Acoustic Guitar playing. Finger Picking and my fingers would not pick on that stuff. I could hardly feel my fingers for that matter. Nope. I can see where a employer is coming from. You should have the same empathy on that one. When I worked in a warehouse as a warehouseman and later a forklift driver I never touched the stuff until maybe on the weekends every now and then. To be honest I did not like weed as much as alcohol. I toked maybe once a month for a while then just gave it up completely. I am disabled now and I only want it to get rid of my pain some so I can feel a bit better. I know I will never be able to go back to work and hold down a job and I would never try too with that stuff in my system. I would be too dangerous for myself and others. I could be damaging my self more and not knowing it because I could not feel it at the time. That is not what it is for. I do not want it to cover up the pain so I can go and completely cripple myself at work. I just want some temporary relief so I can have some relaxation every now and then. Pain itself is very stressful. I hate the stress it causes on my health. I want to kick back and relax and not feel the pain for awhile each and every day. I want relief. I am not going to try and get a job that I can kill myself at or someone else while killing my pain. If you guys want this stuff legal then you need to be held accountable to what, when and how you use it also. There has to be rules and consequences. Just like Alcohol. You should not be driving with this when you are high. You kill someone while high then you are blood guilty. So you need to have accountability and thinking you should be able to get high and work for a employer is nuts. I have never as of yet tried the weed you guys are using but I have heard it is way more potent than what I used years ago. That being the case definitely no to working and getting high at the same time. If the job requires drug testing then forget it. You can not do it. That is the employers right to protect his profits. One law suite can completely break some company and maybe 10 other people lose their jobs because one day you where in so much pain you took a chance and went to work high and injured yourself or someone else or both. I agree with the employer and I am all for Medical Cannabis also. I am mad at my employer because he did not protect my health which is why I am in pain so much now. In Levitz case they fell down on their job and poisoned me with a whole slue of chemicals without telling me they where dangerous and without giving me any proper safety training to protect my health. They where trying to save a buck by not buying the proper safety equipment they should have given me and etc. at my healths expense which is gross negligence on their part and the law system failed me in getting compensation for this and I am stuck with my health the way it is not with environmental MS and MCS and a bad back and digestive system and etc. I have pain for head to toe and I did not get true justice for what they did. I got the door slammed in my face in the justice system and I feel even the judges where ringers for the insurance companies and all those involved. Life goes on. I got to live with it. The reason the justice system is like that is because there are a lot of people who take advantage of employers and sue them when they are not really injured that bad. Some of them actually won. Now the really injured have to pay the price and get shut down in the justice system because those insurance companies hate to part with their money they swiped from everyone else in the first place. So they cheat. They conspire with your own attorneys and Judges and etc. They threaten doctors (Dr. John Pletz who folded when they threatened him and warned me they would kill me and my family also. He was scared.) as they did in my case. They do whatever it takes to save a buck and win. It is much easier these days to buy off the DA or Judge than people realize. They have a Fraud Insurance Fund that the insurance company's pay to DA's that prosecute people committing insurance fraud. It is legal way to buy off the DA and when they commit the fraud, well the DA is not going to bite the hand that feeds him or her are they? A Judge, they can promise a grand kid full college tuition and so forth or a vacation to Hawaii or somewhere else fully paid for. They find ways to pay them off that are untraceable. The insurance company then uses it as a write off on their taxes. It doesn't cost them anything in the end. As in the case of one of my lawyers, He promised me he would not go on the defense side even though his wife was a insurance adjuster. Then when he meet with the defenses lawyer he was super buddy buddy with the guy and it turns out he was introduced to a law firm that took him on and he became a defense lawyer while working my case. We where looking for a lawyer for my mother-in-law and found out from another defense lawyer that my own lawyer was now a defense lawyer. I called him and lift a message concerning the matter then much later I got a letter in the mail saying he was no longer a applicant lawyer but was a defense lawyer and if I would sign a conflict of interest waiver he could continue to be my lawyer. According to the lawyer who snitched on him he had been a defense lawyer months before I found out. Suffice to say his partner promised to handle my case as he was still only a applicant lawyer and when he took the case he just sat on it until Statute of limitations passed by then he helped the defense in agreeing to a medical examiner or AME without first getting me my own qualified medical examiner or QME. Exactly what was agreed when I hired him not to do he did. The only way to get rid of the AME was to fire him. Which I did. Then when I did I got my records for the first time in 5 1/2 years and saw a medical doctor suspicion my work environment as my cause of disability when I had internal hemorrhaging and severe pain in April 1990. (The beginning of the end for me.) Turns out the last 6 months of my work after that up to June 1991 I was suppose to be out on Temporary Total Disability while that doctor checked out my health concerning chemicals but it never happened and they never showed me that report and I worked in the very environment that caused my hemorrhaging and pain for 6 more months not knowing about that report until I fired this lawyer (My third lawyer by now) 5 1/2 years later. 2002 I found out I have MS from my work Environment and my memory/brain was physically damaged by the high neurotoxins in the chemicals I worked with. So I am not pro employer as you can see here. But as a guy working along side other guys that are high. I am against people that get high and work. For safety reasons. I thought highly about work safety but I did not know anything about chemicals and their dangers. And my employer failed to do what they legally where suppose to do and warn me and train me on safety with the chemical I worked with at Furniture repair and refinishing. In their case they needed to be sued but the insurance company's are too strong and I could not win. I never even made it to a jury of my peers or a real trial. They won by claiming I was a vexatious litigant because I did not have a lawyer and we made mistakes in our case. If you do not have a lawyer and lose on 5 things in a row they can claim you are a vexatious litigant and ask for $40K up front as a security deposit to continue the case. Which is totally unconstitutional but the Insurance companies and lawyer and legal system made this so a Judge can throw out your case without it ever getting heard by a jury of your peers. You do not get due process any more. My employer needs to be sued and they went out of business while the case was going on. Now I am ill and they are still not paying for their illegal negligence to me and other employees. Any way. If you get high then you need to be out on medical leave or disability or Social Security Disability and etc. I also heard that they try to say pain is a not a disability. My answer to that is Kick them in the privates and see how well they work with pain? :) That puts a end to that controversy. Hope this makes some kind of sense to all of you? It probably doesn't. Take care.
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lindzzz | Aug 25, 2011
 
Sadly, this is still a major issue for us in CA. We need to come to some sort of agreement about medical marijuana as a whole, and stop letting companies decide whether to test for it or not.
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chronic sufferer | Jun 10, 2011
 
This is probably the stupidest thing that is going on. By allowing employers to discriminate against people for using marijuana as a medicine. Yet those who are alcoholics are allowed to go to work on a regular basis with no worry of losing their job. pretty ignorant to me.
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smokestack | Apr 7, 2011
 
A guy in Michigan got fired from his job at Wal-mart for testing positive. I can't believe people are so stupid that they won't let this guy smoke and work at Wal-mart, its not brain surgery. He tried suing them but he lost.
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| Apr 1, 2011
 
yeah fuck this... i have extreme anxiety. I cannot get a job due to the fact i use mmj.
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Chief | Mar 25, 2011
 
I think that employment and being a patient has always been a gray area because just because someone medicates doesn't mean they do it all the time. I think that once a potential employer finds out that you are a patient then there is that misconception that they are going to be under the influence of it all the time. If only we could prove it without being judged so suddenly.
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SkillitHits247 | Mar 14, 2011
 
Wow, this bill would have really helped the patients live like true FREE American citizens, trying to survive in this economy. Good point a420chick, employers should not be able to discriminate someone who medicates with marijuana to help with their illness SO THEY CAN WORK a full days' work. It is kinda strange that (prv.)Gov. Schwartzeneger vetoed the bill after he publicly announced he was pro-cannabis & smoked back in the day with Tommy Chong... doesn't make sense and just shows that something happened 'behind the curtains' that we don't know about...
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CannaConnoisseur | Mar 12, 2011
 
Schwartzeneger is no longer governor.
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CannaConnoisseur | Mar 12, 2011
 
Nevermind, just read the "result" part.
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a420chick | Mar 12, 2011
 
Patients should have protection under the Americans With Disabilities Act shouldn't they? That would make it illegal for employers to discriminate for medical reasons...That's already a law that is active...how do we not get protection from that?!
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HolyKush | Mar 11, 2011
 
This is a ridiculous case of discrimination. I do not understand why they can discriminate against someone who is using cannabis as medication. Benzodiazpines (xanax,klonopin) are highly prescribed and taken regularly by many people who work. Those drugs stay active in your system for 36 hours! This is such an injustice for the medical mj patients.
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PhilosopherOG | Mar 11, 2011
 
Wow...really. it's interesting that one of the biggest weed hating states, "ARIZONA", can get this part of the law safeguarded for their patients, but Cali can't. what's up with that? it's got to be a result of Schwartzenegger's personal or political agenda. this just doesn't make sense otherwise. I guess you could chalk this one up to the little brother learning from the older sibling's example.
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Medicator | Mar 10, 2011
 
These federal laws will never change until society gets the whole truth about the benefits of medical marijuana. It's unfair that a marijuana patient can lose a job or potential job offer because he/she takes a natural cure. It's okay to take vicodin, valium or a whole range of drugs that cause any number of mind altering symptoms, yet not okay to smoke a flower. Our society is really upside down when it comes to these types of issues. We can buy all types of foods laden with poisons known to cause cancer, but don't smoke those herbs. I can agree with a company not wanting an employee to be high at work but it should be none of their business after hours. If a company can regulate what you injest on your own time then it should include alcohol and all prescriptions drugs. It's not fair that medical marijuana is always singled out. The drug companies don't want the competition but they too will jump on the bandwagon as soon as the feds declassify it.