Employment and Medical Marijuana Use: What You Need to Know
One of the most common questions we receive from prospective medical marijuana patients is whether being registered for an Ohio Medical Marijuana Card protects patients from being drug tested or even fired by an employer. Here are some things prospective patients and registered patients need to know:
Can My Employer Drug Test Me?
Yes. All prospective employees for federal, state, and private employers can legally be tested for drugs and alcohol. When you begin employment, most companies include a clause in the employee handbook about their policies on substance use and drug testing. Employers must follow state guidelines for testing. Typically, all candidates need to be treated equally, and no individual can be singled out for testing. Advance notice must be provided to candidates and employers are required to give information about their testing process.
Does Having a Card Protect Me from Losing My Job if Tested?
Sadly, the answer is no. A medical marijuana card does not protect you from punishment or termination by your employer. Some states have seen lawsuits or taken measures to protect employees from drug testing and penalties for using medical marijuana, but Ohio did not write any of these provisions into their bill.
This is not to say that in the future laws will not be adapted to accommodate medical marijuana patients. Like any other medication, cannabis is a treatment option and often is the only drug that provides patients with relief from a number of symptoms. You may be able to contest a failed drug test and explain to your employer that you have obtained certification from a licensed physician and that medical marijuana treatment is essential for treating your condition. However, it is ultimately up to the employer about how they choose to proceed.
I’m Still Afraid of Losing My Job. Should I Get My Card?
This is entirely a personal decision. While there are still legal restrictions in Ohio regarding employment, the benefits often outweigh the risks. Having your card protects you in many other ways. Your Ohio Marijuana Card allows you to demonstrate to law enforcement that you are registered with Ohio's Medical Marijuana Control Program, and thereby allowed to possess, transport, and consume medical marijuana products.
We firmly believe in the immense benefits of cannabis as a treatment option for patients. If you have been suffering with a qualifying condition, you have a right under Ohio law to seek treatment.
If you are interested in obtaining an Ohio Marijuana Card, please contact us at (866) 457-5559 or book your telemedicine appointment online.
If you are a qualifying patient who is suffering from one of the qualifying conditions and is seeking medical marijuana treatment, schedule a telemedicine evaluation, and gain access to Ohio dispensaries. You can schedule your appointment by calling us at 866-457-5559 or book your appointment online.