HI: Editorial: Medical Pot Users Need Job Protection

—– Original Message —–
From: "Richard Lake" <rlake@mapinc.org>
To: <mmjlist@cannabismd.org>
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2008 9:36 AM
Subject: [mmjlist] US HI: Editorial: Medical Pot Users Need Job Protection

> Newshawk: Index of Online HELP Documents http://www.mapinc.org/help
> Pubdate: Mon, 28 Jan 2008
> Source: Honolulu Star-Bulletin (HI)
> Copyright: 2008 Honolulu Star-Bulletin
> Contact: letters@starbulletin.com
> Website: http://www.starbulletin.com/
> Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/196
> Alert: Use Medical Marijuana – Lose Your Job
> http://www.mapinc.org/alert/0361.html
> Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/mmj.htm (Marijuana – Medicinal)
> The Issue
> The California Supreme Court has ruled that employers may fire workers for
> using doctor-prescribed marijuana for medical purposes.
> THE latest threat to ailing people who use doctor-recommended marijuana to
> ease their pain comes from a strange ruling by the California Supreme
> Court. The court ruled that employers may fire workers for using marijuana
> for medical purposes, which will prompt legislation to undo the ruling’s
> damage. As one of 11 states that have legalized medical use of cannabis,
> Hawaii should enact similar workplace protections.
> In a 5-2 ruling last week, the California high court upheld the firing
> Gary Ross, a former Air Force mechanic who used marijuana to ease the pain
> from injuries to his lower back in a fall off an airplane in 1983. A
> doctor prescribed the marijuana, but the court ruled that California’s
> legalization of marijuana deals with criminal prosecution, not terms of
> employment.
> Laws allowing medical use of marijuana were approved by California voters
> in 1996 and by the Hawaii Legislature four years later. As many as a
> thousand Hawaii residents have been registered with the state to use
> marijuana to treat their illnesses.
> Those laws have been attacked by the Bush administration, which won a U.S.
> Supreme Court ruling in 2005 that subjects medical marijuana users to
> prosecution. However, that decision does not cover workplace rules.
> The telecommunications company that fired Ross argued that it feared a
> raid by federal authorities. A state assemblyman from San Francisco said
> he plans to introduce a bill to provide medical marijuana users some
> workplace protections.
> Left over from last year’s Hawaii Legislature is a bill that would expand
> the use of medical marijuana and restrict physicians’ role to conform with
> court rulings. While the California ruling does not apply to Hawaii, a
> precautionary provision providing workplace-protection should be attached
> to that bill and enacted into law.
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