Publication Details

Could Medical Marijuana Use Cost Your Your Job?

Dec 12, 2018 | Topic: Employment

One of WTK's Senior Associates, Christina C.K. Semmer was interviewed for the following article published in U.S. News. Read the full article here.

Excerpt from Article:

Nationwide Trends

In the past, most state courts have sided with the employer on marijuana issues. But that too could be changing. In April, the American Bar Association wrote about two additional cases with rulings that favored medical marijuana users over their employers. In Rhode Island, the Superior Court decided in favor of a woman who had not been hired on the basis of her medical marijuana usage. In Connecticut, the U.S. District Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, stating: “a plaintiff who uses marijuana for medicinal purposes in compliance with Connecticut law may maintain a cause of action against an employer who refuses to employ her for this reason.”

Like the laws around its usage, the statistics involving medical marijuana are state by state. In one report, medical marijuana use in Illinois increased by 83 percent in 2018, with a reported 46,000 users, according to the Chicago Tribune. Beyond Illinois, the country is seeing more registered users, more planned dispensaries, and more doctors approving of its benefits.

“The evolution on this issue, reflected nationwide, is stunning in its progress,” says Christina Semmer, a California employment attorney and senior associate at Wilson Turner Kosmo. “The fact that Colorado became the first state to legalize recreational adult use in 2012, and now you have ten states plus the District of Columbia that have legal adult-use marijuana, and just this past November, Michigan was the first state in the Midwest to pass legal recreational marijuana. Previously it’s been more on the coastal states, east coast and west coast, and you’re starting to see it trickle more into the Midwest. I think that’s reflecting a nationwide shift in cultural viewpoints with marijuana.”