Bosses May Fire Workers for Using Medical Pot 

  Bosses May Fire Workers for Using Medical Pot 

Posted by CN Staff on January 24, 2008 at 13:10:58 PT
By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer  
Source: Los Angeles Times 

San Francisco, CA -- California employers may fire workers for using medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation while off duty even if the drug does not impair an employee's performance, the California Supreme Court ruled 5 to 2 today.The state high court's ruling weakened an already beleaguered 1996 law that prohibits the state from criminalizing the medical use of marijuana. The court said the Compassionate Use Act, passed by voters, imposed no requirements on employers.
"The Compassionate Use Act does not eliminate marijuana's potential for abuse or the employer's legitimate interest in whether an employee uses the drug," Justice Kathryn M. Werdegar wrote for the majority.Justice Joyce L. Kennard called the decision "conspicuously lacking in compassion.""The majority's holding disrespects the will of California's voters who, when they enacted the Compassionate Use Act, surely never intended that persons who availed themselves of its provisions would thereby disqualify themselves from employment," wrote Kennard, who was joined in her dissent by Justice Carlos R. Moreno.The court majority upheld the firing of Gary Ross, an Air Force veteran whose doctor recommended he use marijuana for chronic back pain and whose disability qualified him for government benefits.Ross, 46, was hired by Raging Wire Telecommunications Inc. in 2001 as an administrator. Before taking a required drug test, Ross provided a copy of his physician's recommendation for marijuana. The company fired him a week after he started the job because of his marijuana use.Ross sued the company on the grounds that it failed to accommodate his disability as required under a state anti-discrimination law. He also alleged that the employer violated his rights as a matter of public policy. A trial court and an appeals court ruled for the employer.Stewart Katz, Ross' lawyer, said he was disappointed but not surprised by the majority's ruling "because of what the political realities are." He said the state Legislature could overturn the ruling by amending the marijuana law to prohibit employment discrimination.Bruce Mirken, a spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project, said the court majority based its holding on "an absurdly narrow reading of the law.""The court is claiming that California voters intended to permit medical use of marijuana, but only if you're willing to be unemployed and on welfare," Mirken said. "That is ridiculous on its face, as well as cruel."Complete Title: Bosses May Fire Workers for Using Medical Pot Off Duty, California's High Court SaysNewshawk: Fight_4_freedom Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author: Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer Published: January 25, 2008Copyright: 2008 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Marijuana Policy Project Can Be Fired for Using Medical Pot Court: Medical Pot Not OK at Work

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Comment #6 posted by JoeCitizen on January 25, 2008 at 03:06:28 PT

Crappy Methodology, as usual
I read the abstract for the study (to read the whole thing costs $$$), and it looks like the usual overblown prohibitionist crap.The study was very small, only ten patients. They ALL had complaints of new lung troubles, i.e., they weren't just random cannabis smokers.Of the ten, 4 didn't show ANY type of lung problems, and 5 had normal functioning lungs, regardless of showing any damage on scans.Now the type of damage they are discussing, bullous lung disease, means that unusual gaps or spaces (bullae) have formed in the lungs. What the study never mentions is that this condition can be hereditary. There is NEVER any discussion of family history with these patients. Some or all of the 6 affected in the study may have had hereditary disposition to develop this.Lastly, although they use the word "severe" to describe the degree of the condition, they also used the words "variably sized" to talk about the size of the bullae. So again, it's not clear how much damage they're talking about.For the study's authors jump to a hypothesis about smoking techniques causing the damage, let alone to treat it as an established fact, is not even close to scientific method.More accurately, it's called propaganda.JC
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Comment #5 posted by lineman on January 24, 2008 at 20:26:13 PT

As much as I disagree with the practice of firing people for using drugs as home, I think it should be legal. If you want to work for a retarded employer that doesn't respect your privacy, you will get your privacy violated, and that is your right. There are many great employers out there who do not test for drugs.
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Comment #4 posted by BGreen on January 24, 2008 at 14:47:53 PT

The proof is in my own lungs and those of all of my friends.I might have been gullible when I was 12 but now at 45, and with extremely healthy lungs, I know it's crap. All I have to do is compare myself with my dad, who at 45 and a moderate cigarette smoker woke up every morning coughing up mucous and had to use nose spray just to be able to breath. I have no problems at all.My lungs are so strong that I can't even use Kleenex tissues to blow my nose. I disintegrate them into dust. I have to use paper towels. Some lung disease I have, huh?The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #3 posted by dongenero on January 24, 2008 at 14:27:11 PT

Raging Asshole Wire Telecommunications
Nice Government end run around the will of the voters! This is a ridiculous ruling by the CASC. Obvious disrespect of the voters and the democratic process. That they could reach this ruling when other doctor recommended medicines are not singled out, is really spurious.It smacks of politics that a legitimate user of medical marijuana can be fired for taking this medicine at home in his free time but not be fired for being at work, under the influence of pharmaceutical heroin.Our government should be careful what they ask for. Soon there will be no respect whatsoever for our corrupt system of government.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on January 24, 2008 at 14:24:34 PT

It's good to see you. I think it's just another mean nothing type article. Even if cannabis is harmful it isn't as bad as alcohol and cigarettes and they are legal.
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Comment #1 posted by robbie on January 24, 2008 at 13:55:53 PT:

Anyone seen this? Looking for debunkers
Hey all! LTNS still can't believe something you inhale and hold a few times compares to cigarrettes that you smoke for 5 to 8 minutes at a time from 10 to 40 times a day. I think the conclusions are politically motivated.
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