Can an employee be fired for using medicinal marijuana?

“I know you don’t smoke weed, I know this; but I’m gonna get you high today, ’cause it’s Friday; you ain’t got no job… and you ain’t got sh*t to do.” – Smokey from Friday (1995).


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Back in 1995, when Smokey was trying to convince his buddy Craig to get high, California had yet to decriminalize marijuana for medical use. Now, a number of states have legalized medical marijuana.

But what happens when medical marijuana use results in a positive drug test at work? Is the company allowed to fire that employee?

Find out, after the jump.

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Nathan Koppel at the WSJ Law Blog writes that at least one court has permitted a company to fire an employee who tests positive for drugs — even if the positive test relates to medical marijuana use.

Michigan federal judge Robert Jonker today ruled that Walmart had the right to fire an employee who was using marijuana to treat the side effects of an inoperable brain tumor. The state’s medical marijuana laws protect licensed users from arrest but do not trump employers’ policies banning the use of dope, the judge held.

You can read a copy of the opinion here. The WSJ’s Stephanie Simon has more on this story here.

What about employers in other states — like NJ — that have legalized medicinal marijuana.

Last year, New Jersey became the 14th state to legalize medicinal marijuana when it passed the 

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