Can You Get Fired For Having a Medical Marijuana?
Can you get fired for having a medical marijuana card in Maryland? Good Question. While public opinion and cannabis laws continue to change, it’s hard for employees to understand their rights and how these laws impact the workplace. Let’s look at the laws of medical cannabis in Maryland and how they impact the workplace.
Maryland Medical Cannabis Law allows residents to acquire a medical marijuana recommendation from certified physicians for qualifying medical conditions. Once you have this recommendation, you apply for a state issues Maryland Medical Marijuana Card. This is used to purchase medical cannabis from dispensaries.
While these laws protect you from legal fines or criminal prosecutions from using cannabis, it is still unclear how they impact an employer’s ability to refuse to hire or terminate.
Legalization Is Not Job Protection
Unfortunately, under federal law cannabis is considered illegal. Since federal laws override state laws, an employer is not required to accommodate cannabis usage under Maryland laws.
In fact, when it comes to court rulings on workplace accommodations, courts uphold that cannabis is considered an intoxicant and not a protected substance. Neither the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act or any other Maryland agency has ever overturned this reasoning.
Bottom line, if your employer tests you and test positive for cannabis, its up to the employer what happens. Each company has its own drug-use policies that must be followed. However, you do have rights and you will not be terminated just for possessing a medical cannabis card.
Truthfully, many employers don’t have a problem with cannabis usage so long as you do your job well and it doesn’t negatively affect the productivity, quality or safety of the employee and workplace.
However, there are some industries that are stricter than others about cannabis use, and it’s understandable. For example, the transportation industry or construction industry where employees are driving or operating heavy machinery, cannabis use could negatively affect employees and create a safety hazard.
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