Thursday, April 15, 2010

Oregon Worker Fired For Using Medical Marijuana

An Oregon worker, about to be tested for drugs at his work, informed his employer that he was using medical marijuana under Oregon’s laws permitting such use. His candor was to no avail. Neither was his permit from the State of Oregon. He was fired from his job. He appealed the termination in front of the Oregon Supreme Court and lost. Associated Press explained the ruling as follows.

“The court overturned a state Bureau of Labor and Industries decision in favor of a worker in Eugene who was fired after telling his boss he was using medical marijuana approved by his doctor before taking a drug test.

Anthony Scevers filed a discrimination claim against Emerald Steel Fabricators Inc., arguing the company failed to make a reasonable accommodation for a disability

But the majority, in an opinion by Justice Rives Kistler, supported the company’s argument that “state law does not require an employer to accommodate an employee’s use of marijuana to treat a disabling medical condition.” It added that “the federal Controlled Substances Act prohibits the possession of marijuana without regard to whether it is used for medicinal purposes.”

There are practical problems with allowing employees to be under the influence of medical marijuana. What if they are operating a motor vehicle or heavy machinery? How does the use of medical marijuana affect the worker’s fulfillment of his or her job description? (Click here to read the rest of my article on Sphere: Related Content

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