Friday, January 25, 2008

Use Medical Marijuana, Get Fired

The Los Angeles Times reports that the California Supreme Court on January 24, 2008 ruled 5-2 that an employer may fire an employee who has used medical marijuana, even if it has not affected job performance. A trial court and an appeals court also had ruled for the employer.

The voters of California in 1996 enacted the Compassionate Use Act, prohibiting the state from criminalizing the medical use of marijuana, though it is silent with regard to employers.

Soon, George W. Bush, who campaigned as a "compassionate conservative," will decry this ruling. After all, it condoned dismissal of an individual who, prior to the drug test which confirmed his use, had presented his employer, Raging Wire Communications, Inc., with a prescription for medical marijuana prescribed because of chronic back pain and whose disability qualified him for government benefits.

Imminently, Willard "Mitt" Romney, who boldly proclaimed during debate in Boca Raton, Florida on 1/24/08 "look, the success over there is due to the -- the blood and the courage of our servicemen and -women," will demand reinstatement of the plaintiff, Gary Ross, who is an Air Force veteran. And we will be regaled with the collective outrage of the Republican Party that the "wisdom of the American people" has once again been circumvented by "elitist, unelected judges."

I don't know which is more striking a)the idiocy of ruling that someone can be fired for legally using a substance in circumstances authorized by the state's voters or b)the silence from Repub candidates who pose as compassionate patriots.

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