When you begin a job search, one of the most common things mentioned on many job listings is a drug screening. If you are a medical marijuana patient with qualifying health conditions, this increased employment drug screening may cause concern. But should it?
Why Do Employers Drug Test?
Drug testing has been practiced by many companies and businesses for years. Employers may require and conduct pre-employment and random drug testing. According to Concentra, pre-employment drug tests are “used to determine if a prospective hire uses illicit substances or abuses prescription medications.” Random drug testing is an unannounced and unexpected drug test to already employed individuals.
Employers implement drug testing for the following reasons:
- Deter employees from abusing alcohol and drugs
- Prevent hiring individuals who use illegal drugs
- Enhance health and safety in the workplace
The Right to Refuse a Drug Test
Legally, you have the right to refuse a drug test. However, the employer also has the right to fire for that refusal. If you are applying for a new job, the employer can stop the hiring process if you refuse a drug test. Unfortunately, this is true even though you may hold a medical marijuana card in Florida.
Getting a Job While Being a Medical Marijuana Cardholder
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) “prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in several areas, including employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications and access to state and local government’ programs and services,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
While medical marijuana is legal in Florida, Federal law provides zero protection to patients in Florida and all U.S. states. According to Federal law, cannabis is a prohibited Schedule I drug. Unfortunately, this is a significant setback for medical marijuana patients, as they are not protected when it comes to employment.
However, congressional members drafted the Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act. This act “prohibits employers from taking adverse personnel action against employees or applicants who are qualified patients using medical marijuana.”
House members have not voted on this act, but it is likely employee protections for medical marijuana patients will be coming to Florida in the near future.
Contact a Florida Medical Marijuana Doctor
At MMTCFL, we can determine if you are eligible for medical marijuana and help you get your medical marijuana registration card. Get started with medical marijuana today by taking our online eligibility survey.