1.27.2008

California Court Upholds Employer's Right to Fire Medical Marijuana Users

The Supreme Court of California recently upheld the decision of lower courts in the case of Ross v. Ragingwire Telecommunications, Inc. that an employer can fire a employee who tests positive for marijuana use despite that employees doctor prescribed and legal use. The court "reasoned" that the employer was not discriminating against the employees condition or use of medication. The court basically took an easy way out saying that it would not extend the states medical marijuana laws to cover employment discrimination.

The dissenting opinion in the decision is strong and well reasoned. Here is a portion,

“In a decision conspicuously lacking in compassion, however, the majority [decision] holds that an employer may fire an employee for such marijuana use, even when it occurs during off-duty hours, does not affect the employee’s job performance, does not impair the employer’s legitimate business interests, and provides the only effective relief for the employee’s chronic pain and muscle spasms.”

The dissent also goes on to talk about how Californians who face drug testing prior to or during employment now face the choice between continuing essential treatment or giving a job that accounts for that persons source of income.

The Drug Policy Alliance has much more.

1 comment:

beth said...

what a disappointing decision.