In a landmark ruling Monday by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, an employee who was fired over the use of workplace marijuana was vindicated.
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Cristina Barbuto was fired on her first day of a new job with Advantage Sales and Marketing because of a “dirty” drug test. She tried explaining that she was a medical patient, but the establishment told her that they abided by federal, not state, law.
Barbuto suffers from Crohn’s, which is a gastrointestinal disease that can be debilitating. She has documentation from her doctor and court documents show that she did not use cannabis before or during work.
This is this first time in the history of our nation that a court has ruled in favor of an employee in these circumstances. Let that sink in. Law was literally made on Monday.
Recreational use is still not protected and we still have an uphill battle to get cannabis descheduled federally and legalized countrywide, but this is a major win for the community.
Cannabis in the workplace expert, Dale Deitchler, said, “Massachusetts is not a state where such protections are written in the law, so this is really significant.”
Remember, cannabis use during or before work is still prohibited and will likely be cause for termination. And there will always be some jobs where cannabis, medical or not, cannot be tolerated. From school bus drivers to airplane pilots, getting medicated just isn’t an option.
Barbuto had filed to sue her former employer for discrimination back in 2015 and the Court’s Monday ruling with the go ahead is a major victory for medical cannabis. The impact could be far reaching and set a precedent that will put many minds at ease.