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Elephant in the room: Medical marijuana use and the workplace

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2023 | legal marijuana

You suffer from debilitating conditions that cause you chronic pain. You shun the opioid drugs that would otherwise be prescribed to treat your intractable pain.

Instead, you find relief using medical marijuana products. These nonaddictive, prescribed substances are plants or plant-based. They don’t create a physical dependency in the users the way opioid drugs do. That should be a win-win situation. Except for one small problem.

Cannabis is still illegal federally

Congress has stonewalled attempts at federal legalization of even medical marijuana. Thus far, no president has enthusiastically touted the legalization. These draconian responses fail to reflect the views of 91% of adults in the United States who favor legalizing cannabis, according to a recent study done by the Pew Research Center.

Because of federal intransigence on the matter, it is more challenging for employees with MMJ prescriptions to remain compliant with workplace regulations against marijuana use.

When your employer forbids marijuana use

No one should have to trade in their earning power for relief from chronic pain. Yet, that is the precarious situation that many California workers find themselves in when it comes to medical marijuana usage and their jobs.

Could your MMJ use lead to an on-the-job arrest?

Workplace regulations trump state laws regarding what they are willing to tolerate as far as their employees’ MMJ usage. For instance, some employers might turn a blind eye to use while workers are off the clock. Others might terminate employees who test positive and even attempt to press charges for its possession on their premises.

Never assume that you don’t need guidance when dealing with MMJ laws and your employer. The consequences can be far-reaching and serious.