NJ Passes Medical Marijuana Act – How Will Employers/Employees be Affected?

New Jersey passed the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act which will be effective in July 2010.  This staute is intended to “protect from arrest, prosecution, property forfeiture, and criminal and other penalties, those patients who use marijuana to alleviate suffering from debilitating medical conditions, as well as their physicians, primary caregivers, and those who are authorized to produce marijuana for medical purposes.”  The statue may create new issues for employers who conduct drug testing of employees and employees that use marijuana pursuant to the statute.  The statute does not allow employees to use marijuana while at work.  However, it is silent regarding the refusal to hire, termination or suspension of employees that use marijuana legally pursuant to statute.  Case law will certainly develop in this area in New Jersey relating to the Law Against Discrimination and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Contact Castronovo & McKinney, LLC if you would like guidance on complying with the  Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.

Dated: January 20, 2010