Medical marijuana is legal in Florida, and has been since 2017. However, some professionals with a prescription are finding that their jobs are negatively impacted by using it. Some employers still require workers to pass a marijuana screening test before they start work. Failure can mean losing the job offer. One example of this occurred recently in the Tallahassee area. A young social worker was affected.
Is it medical discrimination?
Typically, people who are prescribed a medication that affects motor skills can use it as long as their job performance is not affected. Denying someone a job based on a medication they need to function is seen by many as medical discrimination. However, there is currently no employment protection law on the books in Florida when it comes to medical marijuana.
In the case of the social worker, after the drug screen showed marijuana in their system, the potential employer reported them to the state. This has serious consequences for someone’s license. For social workers, completing a year-long, abstinence-based rehab program is required to save their licenses. This involves avoiding even legal substances, like alcohol.
Over half a million people in Florida are legally prescribed medical marijuana. They should not face job loss for simply following a doctor’s orders. There’s plenty of evidence demonstrating that cannabis has legitimate medical uses. Employment protection has been proposed at the state legislature, but has not been approved yet.
In the meantime, anyone who faces this kind of issue should consider hiring a lawyer with experience in criminal defense. A good attorney may be able to help an individual defend their right to work in hearings with professional bodies. People who take medications as prescribed are operating within the bounds of the law.