Marijuana Laws and Disability Discrimination: What Employers Need to Know

Although some state laws have legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational use, the drug remains illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA). A recent federal district court case has added to the confusion for employers who are questioning how the new state laws affect existing drug policies. In Noffsinger v. SSC Niantic Operating Company LLC, d/b/a Bride Brook Nursing & Rehabilitation Center (2018), the Federal District Court in Connecticut ruled that the federal CSA did not preempt the state’s Palliative Use of Marijuana Act (PUMA), making this the first such decision. Employers must consider the state in which the business is operating to determine what laws apply, what court decisions have already been issued and the details within the company’s policy and procedures.

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