Employee Who Uses ‘Medical’ Marijuana May Be Fired


Firing an employee who tests positive for marijuana does not violate the Fair Employment and Housing Act, even if the employee can show that he uses marijuana for medicinal purposes under [California's] Proposition 215, the Third District Court of Appeal ruled yesterday.

The court rejected Gary Ross’ claim that because the initiative protects his right to physician-approved marijuana use as treatment for lower back strain and muscle spasms, his employer’s refusal to accommodate his use of the drug constituted discrimination on the basis of disability and a violation of public policy.

“Because the possession and use of marijuana is illegal under federal law, a court has no legitimate authority to†require an employer to accommodate an employee’s use of marijuana, even if it is for medicinal purposes and thus legal under California law,” Presiding Justice Arthur Scotland wrote. “If FEHA is to be extended to compel such an accommodation, that is a public policy decision that must be made by the Legislature, or by the electorate via initiative, and not by the courts.”

Details here from the Metropolitan News-Enterprise. Here's the court's opinion: Ross v. RagingWire.