On Thursday the Oregon Supreme Court upheld a ruling that allowed employers to terminate employees for participating in the state approved medical marijuana program. As an Oregon resident and well as someone who is weeks away from getting my medical card, I am very discouraged. Even if I can get a medical marijuana card, I will still have to worry about passing a drug test for my employer. This is blatant discrimination as the privacy of every other medical treatment is protected by the federal law.
It may not be that hard to pass a pre-employee drug test that you have time to prepare but it’s when you get injured on the job you most vulnerable. Basically if you get hurt on the job, it is common practice to get sent down to a clinic to get your injury checked out and take a drug screening. If you ask your boss why they require a drug test if you get hurt, they will usually say it’s to make sure you were not intoxicated on the job. This is not true. This is done primarily to get a discount on your workers comp rates. The workers compensation (insurance company) in an effort to avoid treatment will do what they can to avoid having to cover the cost of the treatment. So basically you get terminated for marijuana use, even if you smoke legally and you pay for any additional medical treatment.
Arizona has a bill headed for the ballot this November to make this practice illegal and Oregon needs to follow suit. With he rising popularity of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, this is going to become a more pressing issue. Let’s just hope something gets done before another honest, hard-working person loses their job!
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