The wave of medical marijuana legalization is successfully sweeping across the USA. More than 24 states have legalized medical marijuana and five of them gone up the recreational route. That means the District of Columbia, Alaska, Oregon, Washington and Colorado are pretty much dealing with first problems of implementing marijuana rules and regulations. To expect that there would be no problem in such a prohibition ending move is somewhat childish. That’s why it is necessary to understand the problems of the medical toker in the workplace.
Effects of Medical Marijuana
Because, let’s face it. Some people couldn’t even get up from bed in the morning without taking a couple of medical marijuana puffs. Reasons are numerous, stemming from chronic pain to debilitating diseases like epilepsy. We are talking about hardcore users here, about people whose quality of life would be below acceptable if it wasn’t for medical marijuana. With that in mind, some rules need to be amended and surely employees who rely on medical marijuana must be allowed to come to work under the influence of the drug.
This requires changing employment policies, making regulations that would not allow others to take advantage of them. For instance, if you take medical marijuana because you self-prescribed it due to minor headaches, that wouldn’t work. Only people who literally couldn’t work without it would be protected. Needless to say, they wouldn’t be allowed to operate any heavy machinery either.
Coats Vs. Dish Network, LLC
There is a case currently in Colorado that will shed some more light on the whether medical marijuana should be allowed in the work place. The name of the case is Coats vs. Dish Network, LLC. The Colorado Supreme Court is trying to establish whether the Dish Network was lawful in terminating the employee who is a quadriplegic and tested positive for marijuana. It is important to emphasize that Coats has a valid medical marijuana license and suffers from muscle spasms that are alleviated only through using medical marijuana. He wasn’t even getting high on the company’s premises but tested positively because he is a daily user of medical marijuana. However, proving that to your employer is an entirely different matter. A ruling is expected soon.
Employers & Marijuana
This ruling is bound to set an example for all states that have legalized or are about to legalize marijuana. Colorado will obviously be pioneering on that front as well. Naturally, if the ruling is in favor of the Dish Network, LLC. it will affect employers all over the US and give them even more power when it comes to firing employees who have tested positive for marijuana, albeit recreational or medical – it doesn’t really matter in that case.
On the other hand, if Coats wins this one, the effects will be far greater as it would allow a number of medical marijuana patients to actually contribute to society despite their debilitating illness. However, that win would also confuse the hell out of every employer in the country because every company would have to adjust those regulations accordingly and making those regulations air tight and eliminating the possibility of somebody taking advantage of them is nearly impossible.