Medical marijuana takes a hit

January 24, 2008

, United Press International

The California Supreme Court in a 5-2 ruling said employers can fire workers who are legally prescribed marijuana for illness.

The decision by the state's highest court means that legal protection afforded by California's Compassionate Use Act is not absolute, CNN reported Friday.

The act conflicts with federal anti-drug laws as well as certain state employment regulations.

"Under California law, an employer may require pre-employment drug tests, and take illegal drug use into consideration in making employment decisions," wrote Justice Kathryn Mickle in the decision handed down Thursday.

The case involved the termination of Gary Ross by RagingWire Telecommunications, a Sacramento company. The firm contended it had the right to fire Ross because any marijuana use is illegal under separate U.S. law.

It also said the company's no-tolerance policy must apply to all workers.

Ross received a physician's recommendation to use marijuana in 1999 because of a back injury he sustained while serving in the U.S. Air Force.

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