6 Things Your Boss Will Say When She Finds Out You Use Medical Marijuana

Even though legal medical marijuana is used by at least 1.1 million people in the U.S., it's still uncharted territory for many employers, and company policies often lag behind changes in state law.

Here are some responses you might encounter from top brass when you break the news.

"You're aware of our drug testing policy."

Chances are, you will have to take a drug test at some point: 62% of companies report testing employees for illegal substances. In a perfect world, you asked for, and read over, a copy of company guidelines - including those on drug testing - before you started the job. A medical marijuana license won't save you from zero-tolerance or one-chance-only policies: employers still have the right to enforce them.


"What's your medical condition?"

While it's against the law to ask about pre-existing medical conditions in a job interview, your current employer has the right to ask narrow-defined questions about your ability to do the job safely.


"You can't be high at work."

If your employer has a zero-tolerance drug policy that includes marijuana, a positive drug test while on the clock could get you fired. If no such policy is in place? Your response could be, "are you saying you won't accommodate my medical condition?" followed by serving paperwork from your lawyer.


"How is this going to affect your job performance?"

Generally speaking, your employer has the right to ask that your doctor complete a questionnaire about how much you're required to take and how that might affect your ability to do your job.


"You're fired."

Yes, medical marijuana can still get you fired - even in legal states - because of federal laws. But an increasing number of employers know that terminating someone for medical marijuana is a great way to end up in court.


"Sweet, let's smoke a joint."

Fingers crossed for you on this one.


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After a battery of tests and misdiagnoses, I was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease twelve years ago, and thus began a long battle with trial-and-error medical treatments. I changed my diet several times, even though my doctors didn’t seem confident it would change much (it didn’t), went to physical therapy for pain-related issues, and took so many different pharmaceuticals I can’t even begin to recall each and every one. My days were foggy due to side effects from pharmaceuticals, such as steroids, that made me feel worse than I did before I even took them.

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