Can You Smoke Medical Marijuana At Your Job?

With legalize medical marijuana popping up from sea to shining sea, a lot of people have questions about the limitations of the law. For example, if it’s legally prescribed, can you smoke medical marijuana at your job?

It’s a good question, and the answer seems like it would be the same as it is for any medication. If your doctor doesn’t restrict you from working on your prescribed codeine, surely you should be able to work and toke. As it turns out, it’s not as simple as that.

Can You Smoke Medical Marijuana At Your Job? Maybe, But It’s Not Likely

While federal laws surrounding medical marijuana are increasingly lax, every single court that has had to rule on whether an employer can make hiring or firing decisions based on drug testing has sided with the employer. Medicinal marijuana is not protected as a “reasonable accommodation” by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

So what that means is that it’s really up to the employer and their drug policy. Let’s look at a couple of different locations:

Canada
Right now Canada is in the process of overhauling its laws pertaining to cannabis following the decision to legalize recreational use. What does that mean for medicinal users and their work? We’ll have to wait and see.

California
The state Supreme Court has ruled that while medicinal users are protected from criminal prosecution, they can still be fired even if they’re only using marijuana off the clock. If an employer’s drug policy includes testing, you have no protection.

Oregon
State law specifically spells out that employers are not required to accommodate medical marijuana at work, period.

Washington
Courts have ruled that the drug-free policy of an employer takes precedence over legalization.

You’re probably seeing a trend here. The bottom line is that medical marijuana is not protected for workplace use.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t use it. It just means that it’s up to your employer. Obviously there will be some who accept (and even support) medical (and even recreational) use on the job. And there will be others who have zero tolerance. The latter is especially likely if you have a federal employer.

So can you smoke medical marijuana on the job? It really depends on your specific situation.

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