Courts To Hear Cases on Employment, Concealed Weapons Rights for Medical Marijuana Patients

Jan 20, 2011 , , , , , , , ,

Two cases involving medical marijuana patients have reached the supreme courts of their respective states, and their results could have far-reaching implications for medical marijuana in the future.

In Washington, the state Supreme Court announced it will hear the appeal of a woman who was fired from her job at a telephone call center for testing positive for marijuana on a workplace drug test, despite being a registered medical marijuana patient. While the medical marijuana law in Washington does not protect patients using marijuana in the workplace, the patient had never used her medicine while on the job, and did not work in a role where residual intoxication could prove dangerous to others. Her employer terminated her for using a medicine that she was legally allowed to use in her own home.

It is not known whether this company, Teletech, has fired employees for testing positive for other controlled substances that they have been using legally on the advice of a physician. My guess is they have not.

The final ruling in this case will clarify the rights of employers and employees in medical marijuana states and will no doubt influence the language of future bills, as will the case of Joseph Casias, a Michigan medical marijuana patient who was fired under similar circumstances.

And on March 3, the Oregon Supreme Court will tackle the case of Cynthia Willis, a medical marijuana patient and long-time holder of a concealed-carry handgun permit. Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters denied Willis’ permit renewal after he learned that she was a patient, citing conflict with federal law barring drug users from possessing firearms.

So far, the lower courts have sided with Ms. Willis. Let’s hope the highest court in the state does, too. People should never be denied their constitutional rights simply because they are sick.

9 responses to “Courts To Hear Cases on Employment, Concealed Weapons Rights for Medical Marijuana Patients”

  1. Please help send out an international call for legalization.
    50 years ago a gay couple walking down the street holding hands was at serious risk of being physically attacked. Today gay marriage is legal in some places and on the table in others. What brought about this change?
    It was the extreme courage of the many gay folk who risked losing everything they had, including their families, by “coming out.” When the general public learned that who they’d been despising and discriminating against was their neighbors, their friends, and their own families, things changed.

    The Armband Proposal is meant to be a massive coming-out of us–the people who want an end to prohibition. The idea is for everyone to see that we too are their family, their friends, and their neighbors. Be one of the pebbles that starts our avalanche.

    In Nazi Germany (before the camps) Jews were required to wear a Star of David and Homosexuals to wear a pink triangle.

    On April 20, 2011 everyone who wants prohibition to be repealed should wear an armband with the image of a cannabis leaf on it. If millions of us are literally wearing our feelings on our sleeves that day the mass media will not be able to ignore it. The business world will regard us as a financially significant demographic. It will also send a clear message to the politicians that the time has come to repeal prohibition. This will be most effective if you just go on with whatever else you would have been doing, i.e. if you were going to a smoke-in, burn one for us. If you were going to go plant a zillion seeds, go for it! If you were going to work, go.

    Just be sure you’re wearing an armband with “Legalize Now!” on it.

    Local groups could sell these armbands at minimal price to raise funds to do their work with.

    Please help yourself by joining us in getting the word out to as many people as we can. If each of us contacts 5 people there will be millions of us on 4/20/2011!!

    Anything you can think of to help us make it clear that wearing wearing the armband only means you want an end to prohibition, not necessarily that you, yourself, are a consumer would be greatly appreciated.

  2. What started out as a cheap shot and a bad joke against pot smokers has gotten way out of control when they are considered the same level as unstable harden criminals that may pose a threat to society. There are no limits against people who are presently using marijuana, and it has to stop.

  3. Come on Washington, be the first state to take a logical approach to medical cannabis and holding a job. Firing medical cannabis user for nothing more than a positive test should be a crime.

  4. A man was recently fired from his job at Pizza Hut for setting SAFER cards from NORML on the counter in his off hours. We have started a boycott against pizza hut, and I am calling on all legalization advocates to call the manager that fired him @ 308-284-6006 and let him know that his actions do not reflect the views of millions of Americans and that his behavior has not gone unnoticed. We are also need help wording comments for posting to Pizza Hut facebook wall and a letter to the corporation so as not to hurt the cause for legalization any. If you would like to help with that comments can be posted on NORML facebook wall or you can contact me via email @ Thanks everybody!

  5. The Washington state thing with the lady being fired for failing a drug test.

    She’s a medical pot person and said that she never uses pot on the job.

    When a drug test is specifically designed to test for “Off Duty” use that’s wrong and that’s the problem here.

    Maybe we at MPP need to work towards changing that!

  6. I think it’s a sad day in our society when you have been at a job for over a good period of time, your a great worker, you never call off, your always on time and your boss praises the work you do but, yet they give you a random drug test and you test positive for marijuana and the company has to let you go even though you are a medical user this LAW HAS GOT TO CHANGE. I’ve lost several jobs for this very reason. Good jobs, that I never went to work high or while I was working . This was on my own time when my Arthritis in my hands are so bad I could hardly open up my hands. It’s diffintely an unfair law. I have tryed all kinds of medicines nothing seems to help, but If I smoke medical marijuana the pain is completely gone!!!!!

  7. Unfortunately, despite the banalized moniker ( democracy), what we have as governmental procedure is oligogic plutocracy and until bribery as the way of legislative protocol is curtailed than we will continue to be ruled by fascism. In 1938, Dupont, Eli drug, Hearst paper, were the main bribers, called lobbing the legislature, to edict cannabis illegal as it would otherwise compete fairly with in a supposedly free market system.

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