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b2ap3_thumbnail_medical-marijuana-employment-law-questions.jpgNew York is one of the 29 states, plus the District of Columbia, that have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes. However, the possession and use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law. This obviously contradictory position between federal and state law on the use of marijuana has created serious questions both in New York and across the country, particularly when it comes to workplace rules.

The Compassionate Care Act

The Compassionate Care Act (CCA) was passed in 2014 and went into effect in January 2016. The law allows the manufacture, sale, and use of medical marijuana in the state of New York. The CCA is scheduled to be in effect for seven years, after which it will automatically expire unless it is renewed.

Effects of CCA on Employment Law

A “certified” medical marijuana patient is deemed to be a disabled person and therefore protected from employment discrimination. At least this is the position taken by some civil rights advocates and labor management organizations such as the Society for Resource Management. However, this view has not been tested in any New York court but there is a good chance there are cases percolating up the system and will sooner or later address this question.

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