On Monday Massachusetts’ Supreme, Judicial Court ruled that employers cannot enforce anti-marijuana policies against workers whose doctors have recommended medical marijuana to treat their illnesses.
This allows Christina Barbuto, a woman who uses medical marijuana legally to treat her Crohn’s Disease, to sue her former employer that fired her for testing positive for marijuana use.
Barbuto claims she was assured by her new employers that her medical marijuana use would not be a problem. However, she was fired after testing positive on her first day of work.
The California company, Advantage Sales and Marketing, claimed it had the right to fire her since marijuana is federally illegal. One of their attorneys told The Boston Globe that they are “confident” that the company acted lawfully.
This is becoming a more pressing issue in states where medical and recreational marijuana is legal. Can people be fired for taking their medicine? Or for indulging in recreational activities outside of their time at work?
This issue was visited in Colorado as well in 2015 when the courts ruled that if an employer has a zero-tolerance marijuana policy they can fire a worker for off-duty use of medical marijuana due to it being in accordance with federal law.