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You Will Not Lose Your Job for Failing Medical Marijuana Drug Test, Court Decides

A top court in New Jersey ruled on March 10 that labourers do not risk losing their job for failing medical marijuana drug tests. Provided that the workers are not under the influence of marijuana during working hours, the state Supreme Court said that the Law Against Discrimination protects medical marijuana patients.

This top court was confirming and insisting on an earlier appellate court decision. While the March 10 case involved a former funeral home director who lost his job, the implications are major. A lawyer for the former director, Jamison Mark, said:

“This protects hundreds, if not thousands of employees, who’ve faced the stigma of marijuana.”  

That ruling guaranteed that discrimination law and the state’s Compassionate Use Act were not at any loggerheads. An employment expert working with the Newark office of the Epstein Becker and Green national law company, Maxine “Mickey” Neuhauser, said that this drug should now be treated like any other prescription opiate.

However, the users will still need to have a prescription for their case to stand since it is illegal to go to work under the influence of cannabis. Over 70,000 residents are currently enrolled in New Jersey’s medical marijuana program, as published by the state’s department of health. 

The latest ruling means that Justin Wild can now continue with his lawsuit against the Feeney Funeral Home in Ridgewood and Carriage Funeral Holdings, Inc. In 2015, Wild was diagnosed with cancer according to reliable court records, and the doctor prescribed marijuana. A year later, he told his bosses after getting involved in a car accident.

Court Case

The car crash was not his fault according to the lawsuit, and the doctor confirmed that Wild was not under any influence of drugs. However, the funeral home demanded a drug test and eventually fired him when the results came back positive for marijuana. Wild sued for discrimination by his employer.

At first, a superior court judge dismissed the case, but an appellate court sided with Wild. The court wrote a year ago:

“It would be ironic, indeed, if the Compassionate Use Act limited the Law Against Discrimination to permit an employer’s termination of a cancer patient’s employment by discriminating without compassion.”

This case is now headed to Bergen County Superior Court. For now, Wild is still jobless but actively searching for a job within the industry, according to his lawyer. He is also dealing with the fallout of the car accident.

The lawyers representing the funeral home had said that the Compassionate Use Act did not cover job protections, as documented in the court records. Three new dispensaries were allowed to grow medical weed. Also, the state legislators are weighing bills that would make this product easier to access and well-covered by workers’ compensation.

Two months ago, a state appeals court ruled that a construction company required to cover a former employee’s medical marijuana bill.

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Robert Hill

Robert is an editor-in-chief from Chicago, IL, with vast experience writing about the cannabis industry. He mainly focused on covering general cannabis news, political news, and cannabis crime news worldwide.

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