Can Your Employer Ask You If You Have An MMJ Card In Missouri?

Medical marijuana in Missouri has been on a long journey since 2014. The laws regarding possession were loosened in that year, and in 2018 Missourians were approved the right to use medical marijuana in the state. The changes to the Amendment 2 that allowed for the use of medical marijuana came into effect in late 2019. Licenses for dispensaries, labs, and producers were given out by the state going into 2020. Now, those who need MMJ to help manage a debilitating or chronic disease have access to the medicine they require.

Qualifying patients can now request the use of medical marijuana from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the government organization that oversees the MMJ program, applications, and licensing for patients, caregivers, and businesses. Having an approved condition doesn’t automatically grant someone access to medical marijuana, but upon an approved application, they can possess up to four ounces, the equivalent of a 30-day supply.

Someone who is approved and uses medical marijuana to help treat their condition might wonder how that might affect their employment. So can your employer ask you if you have an MMJ card in Missouri? And can using medical marijuana cause you to lose your job in the state of Missouri? Read on to find out.

Can my employer find out I have a medical card in Missouri?

After going through the process of qualifying for a medical card in Missouri, you will be protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, otherwise known as HIPAA. This act states that patients do not have to disclose medical information to outside sources, even their employer, if they choose not to. This means that unless you willingly offer up the information to your employer about your medical card status, you do not have to tell them. This is true even if they ask you about it directly. HIPAA is designed to give people privacy when it comes to their medical records, and MMJ use is a part of that record.

person holding jar of MMJ product
Image by Jeff W on Unsplash: Medical marijuana is legal in Missouri, but what does the law say about employment with a medical card?

Missouri drug testing laws 2021

In the state of Missouri, there are no laws that explicitly prohibit an employer from performing random drug tests on employees. Since there are no laws surrounding it, it can be a tricky subject for many who use medical marijuana for an approved condition and are worried that they might test positive if a drug test were to occur. Employers may also be confused about drug testing employees who may use medical marijuana. Drug tests are still allowed to be conducted on all employees regardless of their MMJ status in the state.

If an employee were to test positive, they may be unsure if they could be fired, since the Missouri Constitutional Amendment No. 2 is without any laws stating otherwise. However, people who live in Missouri now have rights to use medical marijuana as medicine if they qualify under the state program. Unfortunately, it is a gray area that leaves both patients and employers vulnerable to unfair action.

Can you get fired for having a medical card in Missouri?

Currently, there are no laws stating that an employer who conducts drug tests cannot fire an employee if they test positive for medical marijuana. Because of this, employers and employees are in the middle of question mark surrounding medical marijuana use and employment.

Senate Bill 610 has recently been in the works; if the bill passes, it will give employers the right to fire anyone who tests positive for marijuana use, even if they have a medical marijuana card. This puts MMJ users in a tough spot when it comes to employment in Missouri.

person meeting with their employer in missouri
Image by Christina @ on Unsplash: Can your boss fire you for using medical marijuana in Missouri?

Can you pass a drug test with a medical card in Missouri?

Unfortunately, there is no way to pass a drug test if you use medical marijuana. Regardless of whether you use and obtain marijuana legally, it will still be in your system. This can create some anxiety surrounding employment within a company that conducts random drug tests on its employees.

The laws in Missouri surrounding the use of medical marijuana and employment protection need to be taken out of the gray area. Because of a lack of clarity surrounding employee and employer rights when it comes to the use of MMJ, employers seem to have the upper hand, and can establish their own rules when it comes to drug testing and how positive tests are handled.

For those working in Missouri and using medical marijuana for a qualifying condition, there is still hope. Many businesses in the state may feel that drug testing may not be needed, or worth the legal challenges it may come with. Until the laws are clear, though, employees with medical marijuana cards may need to take the gray area into consideration when choosing an employer.

Featured image by Chris Hardy on Unsplash

Medical Marijuana Cards And Your Privacy: Are MMJ Cards Confidential?

Medical marijuana (MMJ) programs are continuing to improve and expand across the country. The majority of US states now have some form of MMJ treatment available to their citizens, and each year new states are joining the medical marijuana revolution and implementing their own MMJ programs.

States such as Oklahoma, which were once skeptical about MMJ, are now reaping the rewards that come with having a liberal, well-run MMJ program. Medical marijuana has massive medicinal value and provides enormous improvements to the quality of life of MMJ patients. MMJ is also big business and MMJ-friendly states are enjoying big economic benefits.

While medical marijuana is legal in most states, it is not yet legal at the federal level. So it is understandable that MMJ patients have concerns and questions about confidentiality. Are medical marijuana cards confidential? Does having a medical card show up on a federal background check? Can my employer find out I have a medical card? Does having a medical card go on your record?

Let’s find out the answers to these questions and discuss all you need to know about medical marijuana cards and your privacy.

MMJRecs - MMJ in hand
Image by StayRegular on Pixabay: Are MMJ cards confidential? For the most part, yes.

MMJ Is An Essential Medical Treatment For Millions Of Americans

While marijuana is now legal for recreational use in an ever-increasing number of states, it is crucial to remember that medical marijuana is an essential medical treatment for millions of Americans.

Medical marijuana treatment is not an exotic luxury for MMJ patients. It is a necessary treatment that enables them to experience a massively improved quality of life.

Medical Marijuana Cards And Your Privacy

Because medical marijuana treatment is an essential medical intervention for millions of Americans, privacy is a crucial issue. A person’s medical situation and history is their own business, and there are laws in place that protect the privacy and confidentiality of people’s medical records.

The main law that protects peoples’ personal health information is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA prevents protected medical information from showing up on a background check.

Are MMJ Cards Confidential?

Medical marijuana cards are an integral part of many people’s health and wellness arsenal. Most MMJ card holders rely on their MMJ to get through the day relatively pain-free and to live a normal life. For this reason, medical marijuana cards are confidential in the large majority of cases, apart from certain specific scenarios related to employment.

Normally, only you, your doctor, your dispensary, and any other people you choose to tell will know you are an MMJ patient. However, certain jobs will want to know if you use medical marijuana because they have a legally protected policy of not hiring MMJ patients.

Do Employers Have To Know About Medical Marijuana Cards?

States laws differ on the question of whether an employer has to know about an employee’s MMJ card. Most jobs will have no requirement for employees to provide information about MMJ treatment. In the majority of jobs, the only stipulation will be that the employee not dose at work to the extent that they cannot fulfill their job.

However, most states have a list of jobs that are considered “safety-sensitive” and these jobs can have a “no MMJ” policy. Safety-sensitive jobs include:

  • Nurses and medical practitioners
  • Childcare
  • Jobs that involve firearms
  • Jobs that involve operating heavy machinery or driving

Safety sensitive jobs are entitled to have a policy of not hiring medical marijuana patients.

Can My Employer Find Out If I Have A Medical Card?

Your medical information is confidential, so an employer cannot demand access to it. However, for safety-sensitive jobs, most employers will insist on a drug test. If you refuse to undergo a drug test or fail a drug test, then you will not be hired.

MMJRecs - medical marijuana plant
Image by RexMedlen on Pixabay: MMJ treatment is part of your protected, private personal health information.

Does Having A Medical Card Show Up On A Federal Background Check Or Any Other Records?

Medical marijuana cards will not show up on a federal background check because they are protected under HIPAA legislation.

Your medical marijuana card will appear on your personal medical records, which will be accessible to medical professionals who treat you. Your name will also appear on your state’s MMJ card registry. However, both your personal medical records and your state’s MMJ registry are confidential.

How Do You Apply For An MMJ Card?

If you would like a confidential medical marijuana card, the easiest way to apply is through MMJRecs. The team will set up an online consultation between you and an MMJ doctor in your state. Once the doctor has verified your suitability for treatment with MMJ, they will fill in the relevant sections of an MMJ card application form and email it to you. You can then submit the completed application form to your local MMJ authorities.

Featured image by Tim Mossholder on Pixabay