OUR OPINION: Job loss an unwanted side effect of medical pot

February 24th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

12:00 AM

OUR OPINION: Job loss an unwanted side effect of medical pot

The disconnect between federal law and state law when it comes to marijuana was on display again last week in a lawsuit filed by a Pittsfield woman who says she lost her job for receiving medical care.

Brittany Thomas alleges that she was refused rehire following a layoff when she failed a urine test for marijuana. Thomas is a registered medical marijuana user under state law.

Thomas, who suffers from extreme back pain, came to marijuana after finding narcotic pain killers to have too many unwanted side effects, including potential addiction. An irony of this case is that Thomas would not have lost her job if she had been using opiates approved by the Food and Drug Administration, even though those drugs would be far more disruptive to her performance on the job.

The problem Thomas and other medical marijuana users face is that, while the substance has been cleared for therapeutic use in Maine and 15 other states, it is still illegal under federal law.

Not that anyone is worried about prosecution. The U.S. Department of Justice has all but said that it would not go after medical marijuana users or suppliers in states where it is legal, and Washington state officials say the U.S. Attorney General has all but absolved them from any prosecution as they set up a first-in-the-nation recreational marijuana program that was approved by voters last year.

A bill to give Maine voters a chance to do

Article source: http://www.kjonline.com/opinion/job-loss-an-unwanted-side-effect-of-medical-pot_2013-02-23.html