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What are the employment rights for medical marijuana users? Does having a medical card show up on a background check? Can I be denied employment due to my MMJ card? How does medical marijuana usage affect my performance at work? These are just a few of the questions that many medical marijuana users have around MMJ and the workplace.
A lot of MMJ cardholders are currently employed, and many members of the workforce who do not yet have an MMJ card would benefit a great deal from treatment with medical marijuana. So it’s crucial that workers understand their rights regarding MMJ usage, as well as the effects MMJ usage can have on their work life and performance.
Here are eight things workers need to know about medical marijuana cards and MMJ usage in the workplace.
It is crucial to remember that different states have different laws regarding MMJ and the workplace. Medical marijuana is still illegal on a federal level, although by now a majority of states have legalized medical marijuana usage in some capacity. This means it is essential to find out the specifics of MMJ and workplace laws in your home state.
Employment rights for MMJ cardholders are different in different states, so your rights will depend on where you live and what your job is. There is no one-size-fits-all system of employment rights for MMJ users in place across the entire country or across legal MMJ states, or even across all occupations within legal MMJ states.
The Americans With Disabilities Act requires all employers to provide, within reason, whatever an employee with disabilities needs in order to do their job. This is sometimes, but not always, interpreted as meaning that employees can be allowed to use MMJ when they are not at work.
Even in legal MMJ states such as Oregon, Washington, and Montana, courts have decided in favor of employers who have fired employees for MMJ usage. However, the Massachusetts high court decided in favor of an employee who had been fired for MMJ use and held that an exception to the employer’s drug policy was reasonable when it came to medical marijuana use offsite.
The reason many workplaces are concerned about medical marijuana usage is that some strains can lead to impaired mental and physical functioning. Certain strong strains with high levels of THC and CBD, such as A-10 and Kryptonite, can induce drowsiness, which can impede your function at work or even endanger yourself and others.
Can I be denied employment due to my MMJ card? Yes, in some cases you can. Does having a medical card show up on a background check? Not usually, as it is protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). But certain employers will request this information, or they will require that prospective employees undergo a drug test. Some employments have a no-marijuana policy. This includes many federal positions.
This will depend on the state and the role you perform in your job. As mentioned above, states such as Oregon, Washington, and Montana have all decided in favor of employers who fired employees for MMJ usage. If an employee was hired to a job that has a no-marijuana policy and then got an MMJ card, in most instances and in most states, this could lead to dismissal.
If your employer is OK with you holding an MMJ card and dosing outside of work hours, then they will be OK with marijuana showing up in a drug test. This is because marijuana stays in your system for several weeks and so failing a drug test does not imply that the person was dosing at work.
This one is clear-cut. You certainly can get fired for dosing with MMJ at work. Many jobs that allow off-site MMJ use will balk at on-site usage. This is understandable, as MMJ can affect performance quite profoundly.
If your employer allows medical marijuana treatment, then getting your own MMJ card is easy and can greatly enhance your quality of life. The quickest way to apply for your card is by having an online consultation with a medical professional on MMJRecs.