With the use of medical marijuana legal in Minnesota, many individuals may find themselves hesitating from taking the substance for treatment of their medical conditions for fear of getting terminated from their job by testing positive on a drug test. However, it is important for Minnesota residents to know that they are protected from employment discrimination on the basis of using medical cannabis.
Medical cannabis is any cannabis plant that is delivered in any method approved by the Minnesota Department of health, including in liquid form, pill or vaporized delivery. If a Minnesota resident has been diagnosed with a qualifying condition, such as glaucoma, AIDS, cancer, or a terminal illness, among others, they are eligible to get treated with medical cannabis. To do so, they must be enrolled with the medical cannabis registry program. This is different from smoking marijuana, which is still considered illegal in the state.
Generally, Minnesota laws prevent employers from discriminating against employees who are using medical cannabis. This means they are protected from discrimination in termination, hiring, or in any term or condition of employment if they are enrolled in the medical cannabis registry program. When the employee tests positive on a drug test, they may present verification of such enrollment as part of their justification for such a result. If the verification is confirmed, the employee in question cannot be discriminated against. It is important for employees to know that there are certain behaviors they are prevented from engaging in, including but not limited to operating or being in actual control of a motor vehicle or engaging in any act that would constitute professional malpractice.
Medical marijuana provides much needed relief for patients who are unable to get respite from any other avenue and they should not be penalized for using it. They also should not be expected to stop making a living because of their medical condition. If a wrongful termination has taken place on the basis of medical cannabis usage, it might be beneficial to consult an experienced attorney to understand what one’s legal options are.