Drug-free workplace and medical marijuana

Tampa, Florida – While it is still too early to tell, the latest Public Policy Polling shows 70% support for medical marijuana, but how it will play out in the workplace remains cloudy.

"In the amendment language it doesn't make any special exceptions for your workplace," said Christopher Cano with Medical Marijuana Tampa.

The medical cannabis advocate often gets questions about how a possible approval would square between a drug-free workplace and employees who are prescribed the drug.

"People can still if they have a job that does drug test and that one of the drugs that is on the list is marijuana then they would definitely have an issue," he said.

Claire Saady, a labor attorney with the firm Saady and Saxe, told us any new rules would likely mimic that of other prescription medications.

"I see this being analogous to a situation in which an employee has a disability," she said.

But the question over whether an employee can be fired for using a drug that is prescribed to them centers around if they can still perform their duties, not the use the drug.

"The issue is whether or not that employee is able to do their job while they're on medical marijuana," said Saady.

Employers also offer medical insurance that often cover medications for treating illnesses, but will insurance companies be required to cover medical marijuana.

Well that remains to be seen, we have seen a similar issue play out in New Mexico.

Last month, a state judge directed an employer and insurer to reimburse an injured worker for medical marijuana prescribed to relieve pain resulting from a lower back injury.


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