Cannabis has been illegal on the federal level in the United States of America since 1937. During the war on drugs in the 1980s, drug testing became increasingly popular with employers. Countless individuals have lost jobs or opportunities because of not being able to pass a drug test. Draconian cannabis prohibition must come to an end. The end of prohibition will bring a change in the way cannabis is viewed as well. United States courts are finally stepping up to help protect citizens who utilize medical cannabis. Medical cannabis is legal in many states throughout the United States. Unfortunately, it’s not at the federal level. This creates a very controversial line for citizens, business owners, and employers.
How One Woman Changed Drug Testing in Connecticut
A health worker in Connecticut, Katelin Noffsinger, applied for a position as the Director of Recreation Therapy at Bride Brook Health and Rehabilitation Center. During her interview for the position, she revealed that she utilizes a legally prescribed product containing THC to help manage symptoms of PTSD and insomnia. She was prescribed Marinol which is purchased at a pharmacy. When she took her pre-employment drug test, of course, she failed by testing positive for THC. The position as Director of Recreation Therapy was no longer available for Katelin as a result.
Katelin didn’t just go away quietly. She took the case to court back in 2016. Last month in October some good news finally came from the case. New Haven’s District Judge Jeffrey Meyer ruled in favor of Katelin’s case. The Judge determined there was sufficient evidence proving the Bride Brook Health and Rehabilitation Center violated an anti-discrimination provision. This provision was part of the medical cannabis law in the state of Connecticut. This is becoming a more common occurrence.
A Forest of Green Leaf Warriors Are Changing Cannabis Drug Testing and More
Many companies and corporations believe they can toss us aside like a seed and throw dirt over us. However, more of these seeds are germinating. They’re pushing through decades of Reefer Madness and sprouting a forest of green leaf warriors. Ones who will no longer be silent. Similar victories have taken place in Rhode Island and Massachusetts
You might expect this kind of support to come from some of the grassroots states such as Colorado, Washington, or Oregon where cannabis legalization first took place in the US. However, that’s not the case. When similar court cases went in front of judges there, they ruled in favor supporting employers versus the public.
Cannabis legalization is something that is happening and will continue to happen. States and federal authorities are making it rather confusing for citizens. More than 30 states have legal cannabis laws in place. Only nine states, however, have laws that explicitly ban discrimination against employees who consume cannabis for documented medical reasons.
The American Bar Association
To add validity to these cases, the American Bar Association confirmed the court cases in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut are the beginning of what they called “an emerging trend in employment litigation.” The American Bar Association strongly advises all potential employers that they should take into consideration medical cannabis laws in their state before enforcing company drug testing policies on employees or prospective employees in the workplace. The shifting support for cannabis is showing more favor than ever before. For this reason, companies that don’t take this advice into consideration could be facing multimillion-dollar lawsuits.
Have you been denied employment for your legal medical cannabis use or know someone who has? We would love to hear about your experiences surrounding this topic in the comments below!