Medical marijuana users that have been terminated from unemployment for using marijuana have recently been given relief in the form of the Compassionate Use Act. The Compassionate Use Act decriminalized the use of marijuana for any qualifying patient, primary caregiver, alternative treatment center, physician, or any other person acting in accordance with its terms under N.J.S.A. 24:6I-6(a) (2018); N.J.S.A. 2C:35-18. This gives existing employment rights to individuals that allow such qualifying individuals to not be terminated over the use of marijuana as long as the use is outside of the workplace. Under Wild v. Carriage Funeral Holdings Inc., 458 N.J. Super. 416 (App. Div. 2019), a Plaintiff was terminated from his employment because of his medical use of marijuana outside of the workplace. This was found to be in violation of the Law Against Discrimination (LAD), and that the LAD makes it unlawful for an employer, because of the disability of any individual, to discharge or to discriminate against such individual in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.
In the aforementioned case of Wild v. Carriage Funeral Holdings Inc., it was determined that, “the Compassionate Use Act authorized his use of medical marijuana outside the workplace, and that Act’s provisions may be harmonized with the law governing LAD disability discrimination claims.” The Compassionate Use Act hereby gives medical marijuana users the right to use their medicinal marijuana freely outside of the workplace and protects your existing employment rights.