Kathleen Harvey


Part I of this Note gives a brief history of marijuana regulation in the United States. Part II describes how drug testing works and why employers do it. And it presents some of the issues that the federal prohibition poses for employers and employees. Part III analyzes state court opinions that have addressed the question of whether employers may fire employees for off-site medical marijuana use that does not impair work performance. Every court thus far has ruled in favor of the employer, but some of the opinions and dissents acknowledge that the legislatures could amend their states’ statutes to include employment protections for medical marijuana users. Part IV analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of the state medical marijuana laws that include some form of employment protection. Finally, Part V proposes statutory language that could be included in state medical marijuana laws to protect employees from termination simply because of their authorized use of marijuana.

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