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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Medical Marijuana Bill OTJ in NY

OTJ Medical Marijuana in NY

On July 5, 2014 New York became the 23rd state to approve the use of medical marijuana through the passage of AB 6357.  The bill could be viewed as a compromise between supporters and detractors of the medical marijuana movement as it limits the number of state-approved dispensaries to five and does not allow patients to actually smoke marijuana. Although the bill does not address workplace drug testing, it does contain interesting provisions concerning employer-employee relations.  The bill first protects registered patients from "arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business... solely for the certified medical use or manufacture of marijuana."  This does not necessarily rule out disciplinary action for working while impaired, but it would certainly require a business to be a bit more careful especially when conducting drug testing.  The bill adds a second line of protection to registered users in the workplace, including both employees and applicants.  It states that an employer may not refuse to employ an individual "or otherwise penalize a person for that person's status as a certified patient or designated caregiver unless failing to do so would put the... employer... in violation of federal law or cause it to lose a federal contract or funding."  This last part provides recourse for businesses that receive federal funding or contracts, but it is very clear that employers cannot otherwise refuse employment or penalize someone just for being a medical marijuana user. 

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Posted By: STS  First @ 5:40:40 PM


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