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ASA Reacts To Medical Marijuana Employment Discrimination In Washington State


In an 8-1 decision, a third state supreme court – in this case, the Washington Supreme Court – issued a negative decision regarding the employment rights of medical marijuana patients. In Jane Roe v. TeleTech Customer Care Management, LLC, the Washington Supreme Court held that Washington’s Medical Use of Marijuana Act (MUMA) does not provide any civil remedy to a medical patient who is terminated from employment because of testing positive for the off-site use of marijuana.

Following in the footsteps of the California Supreme Court’s decision in Ross v. Ragingwire, the court held that Washington’s MUMA provides a defense only to criminal sanctions, and does not afford any civil protection against discrimination by private employers. But, as the dissent points out, MUMA expressly states that:

Washington Marijuana[a]ny person meeting the requirements appropriate to his or her status under [MUMA] shall be considered to have engaged in activities permitted under this chapter and shall not be penalized in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, for such actions.

Thus, “Roe seems to be exactly the sort of person the people intended to protect.”

The dissent concludes by “urg[ing]the legislature to thoughtfully review and improve the act,” which is precisely what Americans for Safe Access has been seeking to do in the State of California and will continue to do so in next year’s legislative session. Studies have shown that medical marijuana use does not impair workplace safety. It is about time that courts recognize this and provide employment protection to medical marijuana patients, as the voters intended.


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Johnny Green


  1. I have now been turned down by 2 employment agencies due to my “prescription”  Yes these narrow minded people would rather I take vicodin or percoset on the job but God forbid I use something all natural for my pain. Even though I would never use it on the job. I tend to use it to sleep through my pain at night. What many people are not saying about the pills is the brain damage they cause.
    I was treated for chronic migraines @e5e27b389c8331245b06857a93863116:disqus  the U.W. headache clinic. We asked about pain pills. The Doctor told me that when you take pills like opiates it dulls the 10 pain receptors in the brain after a while of these receptors being dulled your brain decides that the receptors aren’t working so it will make 10 more pain receptors. hey now you have 20. Your brain will continue to do this as you take more pills. It will make 10 more receptors each time. This affects the motivation and common sense parts of the brain. Not to mention the liver & kidney damage done to you along with the brain damage.
    So I guess I will continue to be unemployed until I find an open minded employer.

  2. Marcia Nessan on

    It is my feeling that if I had a prescription for Oxycontin or Methadone, as one doctor tried to put me on, then they would have no problem with me passing a drug test. Because I choose not to use such strong and destructive, as well as very addictive, medications then I am being discriminated against. I feel that if its ok to have a script for those meds and still be able to work then there should be nothing wrong with Marijuana in the system as long as you are a medical patient. I am currently putting in applications but almost all of them ask if you can pass a drug test and I answer each time, yes. Its my understanding that the law being you have to be prescribed the drug that shows up in your system in order for it not be a bad test and if I am prescribed this then how can I be put out. When the doctor tried to put me on Methadone, I was shocked. I asked him,”Isn’t this what you give heroin addicts?” His response was,”Well yes but in low doses this is a successful drug for pain management.” Now I had always thought that this was something once you start taking it you have to keep taking it and its just as addictive as Heroin. Why in the world would I want to take something like that, I know I couldn’t perform any job very well while taking that let alone have to head to work after taking my morning dose. I’m good with just the marijuana I don’t need the heavy duty stuff that will cause me to be comatose.

  3. If the person used medical marijuana, lied about it and said they used (and had) a prescription for Marinol (which has THC for the active ingredient) after failing a pee test…

    Well, how would you prove it was med weed, and NOT Marinol???

    I guess you can’t.

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