June 24, 2016 Top Story

Employer Not Required to Accommodate Medical Marijuana UseNew

Employer may terminate employee for use of medical marijuana though legal in the state.

Candice A. Garcia-Rodrigo

Employers are not affirmatively required to provide reasonable accommodations for use of the prescribed marijuana, according to Garcia v. Tractor Supply. The court in Garcia held that an employer permissibly fired an employee legally using marijuana for medical conditions because federal law prohibited the use of the controlled substance. The ruling follows similar holdings in other states, explains the nuances of statutory interpretation as applied to the legal use of medical marijuana, and highlights the potential need for Supreme Court intervention.

New Mexico Finds It Permissible to Terminate Employees for Legal Marijuana Use 

The plaintiff-employee, RojerioGarcia, who was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and prescribed medical marijuana pursuant to New Mexico‚Äôs Compassionate Use Act, was hired by the defendant-employer, Tractor Supply, after informing the employer of his diagnosis and use of medical marijuana. Upon hiring, the employee failed a required drug test, testing positive for cannabis metabolites. The employer terminated the employee based on the positive test.

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