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  • Tom Matthews

What Rights do Employees Have With Medical Marijuana?

In the state of Florida, the answer is none!  Then governor Rick Scott signed a bill into law (Fla. Stat. § 381.986). that explains how patients can receive medical marijuana. The bill states: “This section does not require an employer to accommodate the medical use of marijuana in any workplace or any employee working while under the influence of marijuana.” The Florida Marijuana laws are some of the most strict in the nation.   Employers are able to prohibit marijuana use as a condition of employment even if the employee has a medical marijuana card. If the employee tests positive for marijuana and the employee is terminated because of this, he or she cannot file a discrimination lawsuit because of this.  While employers do not have to enforce a drug free workplace, Florida law creates financial incentives for employers to create these drug free policies. Florida law allows for significant discount on worker’s compensation premiums if the employer enacts a drug free workplace policy. If that employer allows for medical marijuana, they could lose their drug free status and have their workman’s comp premiums increase.  There are no employee protections for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  This law prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified disabled employees. In order to make an ADA claim against an employer, the individual has to have a disability and needs to be a qualified individual. Medical marijuana is illegal at the federal level which means the employee with a medical marijuana card cannot be a qualified individual for ADA purposes. 

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