Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Statute Raises New Questions for Employers

Pennsylvania employers have joined those in a number of states learning how to handle employees who test positive for medical marijuana after the state opened its first medical marijuana dispensary. Pennsylvania recently passed a medical marijuana statute that contains a specific caveat barring employers from discriminating against employees who use medical marijuana with a legal state certificate. The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act (PMMA) contains sanctions that prohibit employers from taking adverse employment action against employees with proper certification. No federal court has forced an employer to accommodate the use of a drug that remains illegal under federal law, but two recent decisions have caused businesses to doubt whether federal law under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is sufficient to dismiss the state law discrimination claim.

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