California Worker Fired for Marijuana Use Can't Sue


Well-Known Member
Nov 6, 2007
By Andrew Harris

Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- An employee fired for his medicinal use of marijuana can't sue his employer for unlawful discrimination under California law, the state's top court ruled.

In a 5-2 ruling today, California's Supreme Court upheld a lower-court decision that plaintiff Gary Ross can't sue his employer, Ragingwire Telecommunications Inc., after it fired him for his off-duty medicinal smoking.

Nothing in California's voter-approved Compassionate Use Act of 1996, which allows the smoking of marijuana when recommended by a physician, governs the ``respective rights and duties of employers and employees,'' Justice Kathryn M. Werdegar wrote for the majority.

Ross, a U.S. Air Force veteran, was fired by Sacramento, California-based Ragingwire, after a drug test required of new employees revealed his marijuana use, according to the court. Ross's physician had recommended marijuana to relieve pain associated with a back injury Ross sustained while in the service.

He sued the company claiming his firing was both an act of disability-based discrimination and a wrongful firing in violation of public policy. California law permits employers to require pre-employment drug testing and to consider illegal drug use when making employment decisions, Werdegar said.

``The majority has seriously compromised the Compassionate Use Act, denying to those who must work for a living its promised benefits'' in treating cancer, AIDS, chronic pain and other medical conditions, Supreme Court Associate Justice Joyce Kennard wrote in a dissenting opinion.
Kinnard agreed with the majority that Ross had no public policy-based claim because federal law makes marijuana possession and use illegal.

The case is Ross v. Ragingwire Telecommunications Inc., S128130, California Supreme Court.

Full article here
Some questions: Did the doctor give him an actual prescription or did he just "recommend" it? Is there a regulated market for marijuana that's intended for medicinal use (ie can you get it from a pharmacist), or do you have to go to a dealer?

From this it sounds like the act doesn't make marijuana a regulated pharmaceutical medicine, just that you won't get arrested for using marijuana if you have a doctor's note. If that's the case, then the state of California either got sloppy on writing the law in forgetting to account for employer drug testing, or else they can't account for employer drug testing because of federal law.

Either way, sucks to be that guy.
there are now vending machines that dispense marijuana - talk about easy access!
check it out
Germany: Medical Cannabis Policy
June 29, 2020
"Since 2017, under German law every doctor is permitted to prescribe cannabis-based drugs, including cannabis flowers, extracts and individual cannabinoids. Under certain conditions, health insurance companies must cover the costs of therapy. According to the law, health insurance companies may only be allowed to refuse a request for reimbursement in exceptional cases."