Aug 072011
 

Urine SampleMedical marijuana and drug testing in the work place had been receiving significant amount of publicity in the last few years. A crucial case law and contradictory legislations in various states had been adding to the confusion. Many employers are unaware of their rights and the steps they should take to protect themselves from punitive actions by state and federal governments, if an employee had been permitted to use marijuana medically and pass a drug test with marijuana present in the body in the workplace.

In 2005, the U.S. Suprement Court passed a verdict that the employer possessed the right to refuse acceptance of medical marijuana as a medical reason if an employee tested positively for a drug. This case is known as Gonzales vs. Raich or Ashcroft vs. Raich. Still, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accepted and passed by majority of state and the federal governments allow the employer to consider the accommodation of an employee, if the medical condition of the employee had allowed the recommendation of specific medical marijuana use.

Still, the employee with medical marijuana use should take certain precautions to pass a drug test. If a physician had prescribed smoked marijuana to a patient, the medical marijuana laws in 13 states protect them from criminal liability. These states are Alaska, California, Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Hawaii, Montana, Maryland, Oregon, Nevada, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Washington. Still, these states had also set limitations on the amount of marijuana that the patient or the caregiver could purchase, possess, obtain, or grow. The laws of these states are basically inconsistent with the federal laws on medical marijuana to pass a drug test.

The entire issue is complicated by the confusion among human resources managers. These managers are not sure whether random drug testing of their employees would amount to discrimination under the ADA. They are also not sure whether they could question candidates for job on use of marijuana. Further, they do not know whether they should accommodate offsite use or after-hours use of medical marijuana. Such uses could lead to the employees testing positive for drug in the workplace, though there had been no consumption of marijuana in the work site.

Since most business organizations have policies that require the termination of the employee if tested positive for Tetrahydrocannabinol, the main drug ingredient in marijuana or force the employee to participate in a treatment program. The Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 specifically prohibits companies receiving federal contracts from allowing marijuana use by employees. This Act is in contradiction with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This medical marijuana issue is further compounded by the liability on the part of the employer. If an employee had consumed marijuana and a customer is affected in any way by the actions of the employee, the employer would be sued by the customer and not the employee.

The latest ruling by the Suprement Court in California in 2008 in the RagingWire Enterprise Solutions that the employer need not accommodate medical marijuana use either in the workplace or outside is of great significance. This ruling is of great significance, requiring employees to pass a drug test under all types of circumstances, overriding medical marijuana laws.

About the Author
To know more about drug testing in the work place and how to pass a drug test without any hassles, please visit the website http://www.discreetherbal.com

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About Jay Smoker

I have been smoking marijuana for almost twenty years and I have no plans to stop anytime soon. My life was turned upside down in 2009 after getting arrested and tossed in jail for being in the wrong state with legal medical marijuana. I got fed up, and I now devote all my time to ending this insanity.I am responsible for the technical side of this project, but try to chip in when I can, either with syndicated articles or original content.Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, and Digg and feel free to email. any questions or concerns. Peace!
  • http://ashlandalthealth.com bbugg

    A physician cannot PRESCRIBE Medical Marijuana. No doctor will ever be allowed to prescribe it until the Federal Government reschedules marijuana and removes it from Schedule I. A Schedule I drug has no known medical value and cannot be prescribed (ordered). Physicians can only RECOMMEND that marijuana use may mitigate symptoms.

    That is where ADA and all the other laws fail to protect marijuana patients. Since marijuana can only be recommended, not ordered, employers are essentially able to disregard this – much as if a doctor recommended that someone drink herbal tea.

    Until we get the Federal;Government to relocate marijuana out of its high crime neighborhood (Schedule I also includes meth and heroin), we patients will never be more than second class citizens as far as getting protection on the job.

    • Chris in WI

      Actually there are a very small number of docs with schedule I prescription licenses. There are also a handfull of patients with a schedule I prescription for cannabis already. So be careful when you call others ignorant. Generally however, most are completely stupid about cannabis. Anyone, for example, who claims physical harm from cannabinoids is lying or misguided. In 10,000 years not one death (well 100lb bail dropped on your head might do it).

  • Medical Cannibis user in CA

    A person can drink alcohol every day, smoke two packs per day of cigerettes, take ectasy three days ago, shoot heroin 5 days ago and pass a drug test in 6 days, but if you don’t drink alcohol ever, never smoke, don’t take any other drugs (legal or not) and smoked a joint three weeks ago, you will fail a drug test. That’s not right! It is unfair.