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Mary Jane Gets Busted at Work

Fri December 5, 2014 Publications

While Florida’s Amendment 2 would allow the production, possession and use of marijuana for certain medical purposes, it does not require accommodations for Aunt Mary at work. How this might play out for Florida businesses is still pretty hazy.

Florida employers are generally required by federal, state, and even local ordinances to provide reasonable accommodations for employees who are disabled. Reasonable accommodations may include allowing an employee to use prescription medicine that is otherwise prohibited by an employer’s drug free workplace. Amendment 2 would make medical marijuana a constitutional right that ends at the doorway to the workplace. It states:

Nothing in this section shall require any accommodation of any on-site medical use of marijuana in any place of education or employment, or of smoking marijuana in any public place.

Moreover, despite the creation of a state constitutional right, marijuana remains illegal under federal law and a Schedule 1 narcotic. Employers still must conduct their businesses in compliance with federal law.

The result of states’ legalizing medical marijuana, according to a recent article in the New York Times, “is a clash between a culture that increasingly accepts marijuana and companies that will fire employees who use it.” With this kind of conflict looming, it is important for employers to stay informed about the state of the law and update current policies accordingly.