Governor Vetoes Job Security for MMJ Users

October 4, 2008

Sacramento, CA — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill sponsored by medical marijuana advocates that would have protected most employees from being fired for testing positive for pot that they used outside the workplace with their doctor’s approval.

The measure, AB 2279 by Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, would have overturned a state Supreme Court ruling in January that allowed employers to punish workers for using medical marijuana that was legalized by a state ballot measure in 1996.

Under Leno’s measure, the only workers who could have been fired for using medical marijuana would have been those in safety-related or law enforcement jobs.In its 5-2 ruling, the Supreme Court said the initiative, Proposition 215, exempted medical marijuana patients and their caregivers from state prosecution, but wasn’t intended to limit an employer’s authority to fire workers for violating federal drug laws.

Schwarzenegger used the same rationale in his veto message Tuesday.

“I am concerned with interference in employment decisions as they relate to marijuana use,” the governor wrote. “Employment protection was not a goal of the initiative as passed by voters in 1996.”

Medical marijuana supporters disagreed.

 

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

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