Arizona attorneys say that marijuana in the workplace is still a gray area for Arizona employers. What it has boiled down to is the type of job someone performs. Those worried about maintaining employment while holding a medical marijuana card should consult an attorney.
Roger Sweet said, “Before I got the card I went to the HR office and asked if this was something I could do to keep employed, and still have the card. They said yes they will treat it like a regular prescription,” according to ABC 15.
When he got his card, the employer seemed to have changed its mind. Sweet said, “That day, they put me on suspension prior to an investigation which lasted three weeks.”
Regarding the loss of his job, Sweet said, “Actually, the person they replaced me with was on a morphine patch. Morphine is OK — really? They can be on morphine 24-hours a day but I can’t use at home to relieve my pain.”
Article 36-2813 of the Arizona medical marijuana law states:
Unless a failure to do so would cause an employer to lose a monetary or licensing related benefit under federal law or regulations, an employer may not discriminate against a person in hiring, termination or imposing any term or condition of employment or otherwise penalize a person based upon either:
1. The person’s status as a cardholder.
2. A registered qualifying patient’s positive drug test for marijuana components or metabolites, unless the patient used, possessed or was impaired by marijuana on the premises of the place of employment or during the hours of employment.
Philip Glasscock, a co-founder of the Cannabis Bar Association, said, “We get many calls from people who’re concerned about whether they can keep their job or not, or whether their employer has a right to ask if they have a card. There are jobs that can legitimately restrict their right to be on marijuana.
Attorneys are still familiarizing themselves with Arizona’s medical marijuana law in order to help those that could or are losing their jobs due to their status as a medical marijuana cardholder.