Tag: Court

Fired MMJ Patient Can Sue Employer, Federal Court Rules

Employers can be sued for refusing to hire applicants who test positive for medical marijuana, a federal judge in Connecticut ruled last week.

While the ruling alone doesn’t yet protect medical marijuana patients, it advances a lawsuit that could eventually carve out workplace protections for legal cannabis use.

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In the case, Noffsinger v. SSC Niantic Operating Co., therapist Katelin Noffsinger is alleging that the company reneged on its decision to hire her for a position at Bride Book Nursing and Rehabilitation Center because she acknowledged using medical marijuana.

Noffsinger, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, began taking doctor-recommended THC capsules in 2015, according to the lawsuit. She takes them every night to help her sleep.

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Niantic, CT-based Bride Brook hired Noffsinger in July 2016. Ahead of a pre-employment drug screening, she informed the company that she was a medicinal marijuana patient with a doctor’s recommendation for cannabis.

According to Noffsinger’s complaint, one day before she was supposed to start her new job—and after she had quit her former job—Bride Brook rescinded her job offer, citing the positive drug test.

Noffsinger alleges that action was discriminatory and violated Connecticut’s law allowing medical cannabis consumption. Bride Brook argued that the federal Controlled Substances Act preempts state law permitting medical cannabis.

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In his ruling allowing the lawsuit to proceed, US District Court Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer wrote that the  CSA doesn’t preempt state law in such circumstances:

This lawsuit calls upon me to decide if federal law preempts Connecticut law. In particular, I must decide if federal law precludes enforcement of a Connecticut law that prohibits employers from firing or refusing to hire someone who uses marijuana for medicinal purposes. I conclude that the answer to that question is ‘no’ and that a plaintiff who uses marijuana for medicinal purposes in compliance with Connecticut law may maintain a cause of action against an employer who refuses to employ her for this reason.

As the ruling was at the trial-court level, it doesn’t establish precedent that would apply to other fired workers who sue employers. Nevertheless it provides a test case that could signal how future cases will unfold.

Courts in many legal states have ruled that medical marijuana laws do not protect employees from being fired for cannabis use. That changed abruptly last month when the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that denying employment on the grounds that a prospective employee uses medical cannabis could violate antidiscrimination laws by failing to reasonably accommodate the employee’s medical condition.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Medical Cannabis Headed Back to Florida Ballot

After narrowly failing to legalize medical cannabis in 2014, advocates in Florida are headed back to the ballot. Organizers announced Wednesday they’ve secured more than enough signatures to qualify a measure for the November election.

The matter will appear on the ballot as Amendment 2. If approved, it would allow cannabis use by patients with the following conditions:

Cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated, and for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.

Production and distribution and would be regulated by the state health department, which would also be responsible for issuing cards to patients and caretakers. The complete ballot language is available here.

“Every day, doctors prescribe dangerous, addictive, and potentially deadly narcotics to their patients but can’t even suggest the use of marijuana, which has never killed a person in thousands of years of human civilization,” campaign manager Ben Pollara said in a statement. “Very soon, Florida doctors will finally have that option.”

A similar effort won 57.6 percent of votes just two years ago, but as as a constitutional amendment it needed 60-percent approval to pass. This time around, however, proponents are convinced public opinion has shifted in their favor. On its website, the group claims that over 70 percent of voters support legalizing medical cannabis.

“We feel very good that 60 percent plus of Florida voters will finally approve a true medical marijuana law,” Pollara told the Associated Press.

The campaign has set up a contribution page to accept donations.

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Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.