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Employers In Medical Marijuana States Can Still Drug Test Employees, Federal Judge Rules

Employers In Medical Marijuana States Can Still Drug Test Employees, Federal Judge Rules

In yet another case with implications for workers who are legally using medical marijuana under state laws, a federal judge has given a New Jersey business permission to continue drug testing employees for cannabis—and to punish them if they test positive, regardless of whether they have doctors’ recommendations.

Of the 31 states that have legalized medical marijuana, only nine have some form of explicit employment protection for qualified medical cannabis patients.

New Jersey is not one of those states. And no state protects an employee from termination if the employer stands to “lose a benefit under federal law,” such as a license or funding, according to legal analysts.

Daniel Cotto Jr. had worked as a forklift driver at Ardagh Glass since 2011. According to his suit, at the time of his hiring, the company was aware he was using medical marijuana to treat pain stemming from a 2007 injury.

The company terminated him in 2017 after he declined to submit to breathalyzer and urine screenings following a 2016 accident, according to NJ.com.

As per the suit, a company human resources manager told him his medical marijuana use was a “problem.”

Cotto sued, citing state law barring discrimination.

This week, Judge Robert Kugler of U.S. District Court in Camden, New Jersey dismissed the case, ruling that the state’s medical marijuana law “does not mandate employer acceptance—or, more particularly, to waive a drug test—of an employee’s use of a substance that is illegal under federal law.”

Without such protections, according to precedent in New Jersey courts, employers “may continue to [ban] its use through lawful workplace drug testing policies,” Kugler wrote.

In Cotto’s case, his job as a forklift driver may have scotched his case from the beginning. A 1992 state Supreme Court decision ruled that forklift operators specifically are in a “safety-sensitive” position, and thus can be drug tested.

(A recent study showed that workplace deaths are significantly lower in states with legal medical marijuana.)

“Ardagh Glass is within its rights to refuse to waive a drug test for federally-prohibited narcotics,” wrote Kugler, who added that New Jersey is also an “at-will” employment state—which means that employers are permitted to terminate employees “for good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all.”

The only exceptions, under discrimination laws, are if an employee is fired for being a member of a protected class, such as a sufferer of a disability.

Though medical marijuana users like Cotto may argue that injuries that require prescription medication—or cannabis—places them in such a class, Cotto did not argue that in his suit, according to Kugler.

As per NJ.com:

“Kugler said in his ruling that Cotto was not claiming that Ardagh was discriminating against him based on his disability, but ‘discriminated against him by refusing to accommodate his use of medical marijuana by waiving a drug test.’”

The case reflects the necessity for states to include employment protections in their medical marijuana laws.

It also presages another impending issue—employment protections for users of recreational marijuana. Currently, no states offer such protections, meaning legal users of cannabis still face risks that users of alcohol or other drugs do not.

To that end, Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) last month filed legislation that would shield most federal employees from being fired for off-the-job marijuana use that is legal in their state.

https://massroots.wpengine.com/news/congressman-pushes-federal-employment-protections-marijuana-consumers/

See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:

Employers In Medical Marijuana States Can Still Drug Test Employees, Federal Judge Rules

Test Cannabis for THC and CBD Content At Home

Test Cannabis for THC and CBD Content At Home

Originally Published: February 6th, 2017.

Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds found in cannabis which react with the cannabinoid receptors in the human brain and body. Different cannabinoids produce different reactions and effects, many of which provide relief to a variety of symptoms and medical conditions.

There are more than 80 different cannabinoids found in marijuana, yet we know very little about 90 percent of them. The two most widely studied are also the most commonly known by consumers, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

THC works effectively as an:

  • Appetite stimulant
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-sleep apnea
  • Anti-intraocular eye pressure (glaucoma)

CBD works effectively to:

  • Relieve anxiety
  • Suppress epileptic fits
  • Reduce psychotic behavior
  • Protect against neurodegenerative diseases
  • Fight against bacterial infections
  • Reduce diabetic symptoms
  • Stimulate bone growth
  • Reduce psoriasis
  • Reduce risk of artery blockage

Both THC and CBD work effectively to:

  • Relive pain
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Curb symptoms of depression
  • Reduce spasms
  • Reduce nausea
  • Inhibit tumor cell growth

The CB Scientific Personal Analytics detection kit provides an easy and affordable way, for medical patients and recreational consumers alike, to test marijuana flowers for two different cannabinoids from the comfort home. At this time, the test kits are only available for the two most commonly known cannabinoids — THC or CBD. For the purpose of this experiment, we used the THC detection kit.

The strain used for this example, Kosher Kush, was purchased at the Clinic Colorado’s original Capitol Hill location before it closed doors for relocation. We used this strain because The Clinic provides lab tested cannabinoid information, including the THC content, which was right at about 20 percent for the Kosher Kush strain.

kosher kush marijuana strain

The CB Scientific THC detection kit was easy to use, and gave us results in just 10 minutes. It starts with placing minimal amounts of cannabis into the provided snap top vials. Next, the solutions are added to the vials, which are then shaken.

thc test kit

After 10 minutes, the solutions react with the THC in the cannabis that is being tested. A color chart is provided with the detection kit, so that the color of the solution in the vial can be compared with the colors on the chart. The scale starts with a very pale red to white area which corresponds with 0 percent THC. On the other end of the spectrum is a very dark red color which corresponds with 20 percent THC or higher.

cb scientific

We found the results of the THC detection kit to match with the lab test results reported by The Clinic. The solution turned a deep red color, confirming that this Kosher Kush definitely contained at least 20 percent THC.

Even though knowing the cannabinoid content of dried marijuana flowers would be beneficial, especially to those seeking specific symptom relief, that information is not always available. This THC detection kit, and the CBD kit, will be very helpful for patients who want to verify the cannabinoid content of their medicine, as well as for curious recreational users. Home cultivators would also find this kit useful for testing home grown strains.

THC kit

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