New Bill Would Prohibit Employers from Discriminating Against Medical Cannabis Users

New Bill Would Prohibit Employers from Discriminating Against Medical Cannabis Users

A new bill was recently introduced in Maryland’s legislature that would prohibit employers from discriminating against legal medical cannabis users. Today, employers in Maryland can terminate you for testing positive for cannabis, even if you have a medical certification to use the plant and are enrolled in the state’s program.

Why me?

Many patients ask why they aren’t afforded the same rights as a person who uses opioids to relieve their symptoms. After all, a patient should have the right to choose how they want to treat their medical conditions. If a patient legally obtains the certification to use a natural medicine that is proven far safer than typical prescriptions from a licensed legal medical professional, why could that disqualify them from employment? These individuals have registered to use their preferred medicine through the state-sponsored program, were approved by the state and issued a patient ID number. No state laws are being broken by their use of medical cannabis, yet patients are persecuted as if they were. I personally find it ironic that the state collects revenue from the program but still allows employers to fire people for being in the program: bureaucracy at its finest, my friends.

Do Your Research

With the plethora of information and studies available to even the most novice of computer users, the stigma surrounding medical cannabis is quickly disappearing. Attitudes towards recreational cannabis are changing as well. Do we really live in a world where you can go get drunk every night and then come to work hungover, and that is still considered a step above legally consuming cannabis? Do we believe that legal opioid users should have more rights than a legal cannabis user? It’s undeniable that there is a national opioid epidemic on our hands – simply turn on the nightly news. These patients are protected while people seeking to get off these drugs and who switched to a natural alternative with far less damaging side effects are still at risk of losing their jobs?

My Soapbox

Personally, I have issues with the whole drug test process anyhow. If an employer can’t ask me my age, religion, or sexual preference, why should they ask me to pee into a cup and analyze God knows what from my sample? I find this concept fundamentally wrong. What business of theirs is it what I choose to do after hours on my own time? An employer pays you to do a job. If you are successful in completing the requirements of your job and its functions, then what’s the problem?

Horror Story

I’ve seen firsthand how the current drug testing logic works. There was an employee who was hired as an agent at this company. He held the same job as another 100 or so agents but was ranked as the best one in the position. His productivity and quality rankings far exceeded those of his peers. One day, he was selected for a random drug test. He failed the test miserably, testing positive for THC in levels that would make even Chong himself blush. The next day he was fired, as he had violated the employers drug policy. It didn’t matter that this employee had been with the company for over 3 years and was consistently ranked as one of the best 3 agents during his tenure. It didn’t matter that his attendance was impeccable – because he liked to use cannabis, he lost his job. Pretty smart decision by the company, huh? Now in this case, the employee was not a legal user of cannabis. However, even as a recreational user, that should not have cost him his job. How the system could allow legal, state- and doctor-certified cannabis users to lose their job is simply beyond my tiny mind’s grasp.

It’s Just Wrong

I can only speak myself here, but I believe that people should be judged off the quality of the work they perform rather than what may or may not be in their bodies. Honestly, if you come to work and bust your ass while carrying yourself in a professional manner and getting the job done, then I don’t care what you are on. Hell, I’ll eventually give you a raise or promote you. Unfortunately, many employers disagree with me and claim that their drug testing policy makes them a better organization. They’ll cite things like insurance costs, employee safety, better people, and other corporate mumbo-jumbo. I am proud to say that at Green Health Docs, the clear majority of our employees are medical cannabis patients. I will gladly put them, their talents, work ethic, compassion and passion for their jobs against any other employee from any other company in any industry. Employers should not be able to disqualify people from employment for using a safer, legally recommended natural medicine: It’s discrimination, and it’s just plain wrong.
Green Health Docs provides patients with guidance when it comes to medical cannabis and Maryland’s laws surrounding the program. We also broadcast our educational sessions on YouTube and Facebook. For more information or to learn how to become a legal medical cannabis patient, call or text us at 240-356-1000.

Please note: neither the author nor any employees at Green Health Docs are lawyers or experts in drug testing laws.