Federal Judge Rules Employers Can’t Discriminate Against Medical Cannabis Patients

A judge for the U.S. District Court of Connecticut has ruled that an employer can’t rescind a job offer to an employee based solely on their status as a medical cannabis patient.

“[T]here is no legitimate dispute that defendant’s rescinding of plaintiff’s job offer was contrary to plaintiff’s right not to be subject to discrimination because of her status as a qualifying patient under PUMA (the Connecticut Palliative Use of Marijuana Act)”, wrote Judge Jeffrey Alker Mayer. “[The] plaintiff is entitled to judgment as a matter of law in her favor on her claim of employment discrimination under PUMA.”

Connecticut’s medical cannabis law states that; No employer may refuse to hire a person or may discharge, penalize or threaten an employee solely on the basis of such person’s or employee’s status as a qualifying patient.”

The ruling follows that of a similar decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court in 2017 which ruled that medical cannabis patients may sue private employers for discrimination if they are fired for off-the-job marijuana use.

The Connecticut case is Noffsinger v Niantic Operating Company LLC.

Emily Watkins is a PhD student majoring in public policy. Emily has been a freelance editor for numerous websites, and has spent hundreds of hours volunteering to help legalize marijuana. She currently resides in Los Angeles, and can be reached at Watkins.MarijuanaHerald@Gmail.com.

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