As more States enact laws permitting the possession and use of small quantities of Marijuana for medical use, many employers ask how will this affect a company’s policy as a Drug-Free Workplace. Currently States that permit Medical Marijuana continues to support an employer’s right to conduct drug testing and prohibit all illegal drug use. Marijuana continues to be classified as a Schedule 1 Narcotic under Federal Law. In addition, recent cases in various States where employees have challenged an employer’s actions due to a Positive drug test result, the courts have continued to support the employer’s right to maintain a Drug-Free Workplace, even in cases where an employee has a prescription for Medical Marijuana.
In one recent prominent case, an employee of Dish Network sued after he was terminated for failing a random drug test. The employee possessed a Medical Marijuana prescription card and claimed that using Marijuana was like any other medication. However, the employee lost in State Court and at the appellate level where a three judge panel ruled that even though the employee was permitted to use Medical Marijuana due to his medical condition, under Federal Law Marijuana is still illegal and Dish Network had a right to fire him in accordance with their Drug Free Workplace Policy.
DOT Part 40 Regulations prohibit Marijuana usage by any DOT covered employee. Regardless of whether a person possesses a prescription.
National Drug Screening will keep our clients apprised of any developments relating to Medical Marijuana and an employer’s right to have a Drug Free Work environment. If you have any questions, please call our office.