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article imageCan an employer refuse a medical marijuana patient a job?

By Tim Sandle     Aug 13, 2015 in Lifestyle
A job seeker who was denied employment because he is a medical marijuana card holder is set to take his case to a U.S. court. The company that denied the man a post, Darlington Fabrics, is set to vigorously defend itself.
The issue relates to a woman cnamed Christine Callaghan. The graduate student applied for a two-month long internship at a textile company, designed to bridge her graduation from college and starting a Master’s degree. Upon checking her medical records, the company found that Callaghan is prescribed medical marijuana due to her suffering with migraine headaches. On this basis the company rejected her application.
Annoyed over the decision, Christine Callaghan has taken the company — Darlington Fabrics — to court, claiming discrimination and seeking appropriate compensation. In her pursuit of what she considers to be an unfair employment practice, Callaghan has enlisted support from the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Callaghan’s defense team are arguing that Rhode Island's statute explicitly states employers cannot refuse to hire someone based on their medical cardholder status. The incident relates to 2014, although it is only now being processed through the judicial system.
The attorney Tim Cavazza representing Darlington Fabrics has indicated that any employer is not required, under the state's existing medical marijuana act, to accommodate or condone medical marijuana use. Darlington Fabrics’ attempt to have the case dismissed has been denied by a Rhode Island Judge Richard Licht.
Marijuana for medical use has been permitted in Rhode Island since 2006, although recreational use of the psychoactive material remains illegal. This is the first significant challenge in the region in relation to "fair use" for medical reasons.
Talking with the Providence Journal, Steven Brown, executive director of the state affiliate outlined the significance of the case: “If the defendants have their way, any of the thousands of people in Rhode Island using medical marijuana for serious medical conditions would be forced to choose between taking lawfully this medication to relieve their pain or not having a job.”
In related news, the state of Colorado is pushing for a new pot symbol — an octagon stop-sign shape with the letters "THC" to indicate marijuana's psychoactive ingredient — to be placed on all individual edible items in addition to the outer packaging and labels. An earlier plan to have the symbolic cannabis plant leaf adorned to the packaging was rejected following lobbying from Smart Colorado, a parents' group. This was on the basis that the symbol might attract children, thinking the product was candy.
More about Medical Marijuana, med pot, medpot, Employment, Discrimination
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