NORML.ORG – Washington: Supreme Court Says State’s Medical Marijuana Law Provides No Protection For Employees’ Off-The-Job Use Of Cannabis

Olympia, WA: An employer may terminate an employee for his or her off-the-job marijuana use, even if the employee is authorized under state law to use cannabis medicinally, the Washington Supreme Court ruled last week in an 8 to 1 decision. The majority determined : “Washington courts have recognized that [the] purpose [of the Washington State Medical Use of Marijuana Act] is to protect the rights of qualifying patients to use medical marijuana in accordance with the advice and supervision of their physicians. … Washington court decisions do not recognize a broad public policy that would remove any impediment to medical marijuana use or impose an employer accommodation obligation.” The Court further determined: “Finally, Washington patients have no legal right to use marijuana under federal law. Though [the petitioner] claims the divergence between Washington’s [medical marijuana law] and federal drug law is of no consequence to a state tort claim, the two cannot be completely separated.” Writing for the dissent, Justice Tom Chambers determined: “The law is intended to treat marijuana like any other medication. … Even the limitations in the act support finding a policy in favor of allowing medical marijuana in situations like this one.” In 2010, the Oregon Supreme Court made a similar ruling in Emerald Steel Fabricators Inc. v. Bureau of Labor and Industries , finding that an employee who uses marijuana in accordance with state law is nonetheless “engaged in the illegal use of drugs” and may be fired for his or her off-the-job conduct. In 2008, the California Supreme Court also similarly ruled in Ross v. Ragingwire Telecom that: “California’s voters merely exempted medical users and their primary caregivers from criminal liability under two specifically designated state statutes. Nothing in the text or history of the Compassionate Use Act suggests the voters intended the measure to address the respective rights and obligations of employers and employees.” Full text of the decision, Roe v. Teletech Customer Care Management LLC, is available here: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/2011/06/09/2015278482.pdf .

Here is the original post:
NORML.ORG – Washington: Supreme Court Says State’s Medical Marijuana Law Provides No Protection For Employees’ Off-The-Job Use Of Cannabis

Twitter Follow

Follow us on

Contact Us

ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT:  This communication or portions thereof may be considered "advertising" as defined by Section 6157(c) of the California Business and Professions Code or within the jurisdiction in which you are viewing this.  Nothing in the discussion above is intended to be a representation or guarantee about the outcome of any legal proceeding in which you may be involved.  By providing the information above in this format, Michel & Associates is not soliciting you to hire it to handle a specific legal matter you may currently have or be anticipating commencing in the future.  Notwithstanding the discussion above, you should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content on this site without seeking appropriate legal advice regarding your particular circumstances from an attorney licensed to practice law.  This communication is informational only and does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Michel & Associates.  Michel & Associates's attorneys are licensed to practice in California, Texas, and the District of Columbia.