McNees Minute: Medical Marijuana

Sponsored Content: McNees Minute

Denise E. Elliott, Esq. – 717-581-3713

Since the passage of the PA Medical Marijuana Act, employers have asked if they have to accommodate medical marijuana users. A PA court recently answered this question and for now the answer is no. Under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, the definition of an individual with a disability excludes those illegally using a controlled substance. Controlled substance is defined by Federal law. Under Federal law, marijuana is illegal and individual using medical marijuana is illegally using a controlled substances, is not an individual with a disability and is not protected by the PHRA. Employers shouldn’t get too excited about this decision, however. First, the case is on appeal. Second, medical marijuana users are protected by anti-discrimination language in the Medical Marijuana Act. Bottom line, employers should consult legal counsel before taking any action against an employee applicant known to be using medical marijuana

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