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Medical marijuana: The medicine that could cost you your job

When you're taking a medication that helps you function better, you expect to go to work and participate like on any other day. As long as you have no symptoms that make you a danger to yourself or others, there's no problem, right? That's not always the case.

If you've been given marijuana legally by a doctor, then you would think that you should be able to go to work and not worry about random drug tests. However, many people discovered that the drug tests could still cost them their jobs, even if the drugs were used legally.

A new assembly bill could change that. Assembly Bill 2069 has been introduced to help prohibit employers from discriminating against those using marijuana when they have qualified for medical marijuana cards and are qualified patients. Proposition 64 legalized recreational marijuana in 2016 as well, which further threatened those who used the drug in their free time, but it is not addressed in the new bill.

The changes that are being discussed could help protect more than 1.5 million people who use medical marijuana to help control or maintain their health. Instead of being able to refuse to hire or to discharge the person due to marijuana use, the employer would be required not to discriminate on the basis of the patient's choice of medication.

There is a catch. Since marijuana is federally listed as a Schedule I narcotic, any company contracted through the federal government will not have to follow the potential law. This ensures a workplace is in line with federal regulations and drug-free.

Source: Marijuana.com, "California Bill Could Blunt Workplace Discrimination for Marijuana Patients," Elizabeth Koh, accessed March 20, 2018

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