I know that it is hard to focus on much of anything other than the coronavirus these days, but one thing that the pandemic has brought to light is the importance of quality healthcare services. For many patients across the country, medical cannabis, recommended by their doctor, is a vital component of their healthcare. Unfortunately, most states still allow all kinds of discrimination against cannabis patients, including in the workforce. In a positive development, the New Jersey Supreme Court recently ruled that legal patients cannot be fired for utilizing medical cannabis outside their place of employment, as NJ.com reported:
As long as employees are not under the influence of the drug at work, the state Supreme Court said medical marijuana patients remain protected by the Law Against Discrimination, echoing an earlier appellate court decision.
While Tuesday’s case involved one former funeral home director who lost his job, the implications are broad.
“This protects hundreds, if not thousands of employees” who’ve faced the “stigma of marijuana,” said Jamison Mark, a lawyer for the former director. The ruling ensured that discrimination law and the state’s Compassionate Use Act were not at odds, he said.
This is a HUGE victory for New Jersey patients that should be replicated across the land. I would argue that most jobs, especially ones that don’t involve any dangerous activities, shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate against anyone’s use of cannabis away from work, it is extremely important that patient rights be protected. Let’s work to make sure that the New Jersey Supreme Court’s sensible decision protecting medical cannabis patients’ employment rights gets replicated from coast to coast.