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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I work at a school in San Bernardino county CA can I be fired for using my state issued me

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I work at a school in San Bernardino county CA can I be fired for using my state issued medical marijuana card
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 3 years ago.

The truth is that no one knows the answer to your question, for a certainty, because it has yet to be interpreted by any appellate court, as applied to state government employers. However, the question has been answered for private employers.

With respect to private employers, although marijuana use for medical purposes is exempt from certain California criminal statutes (see Health & Saf.C. §§ 11362.5, 11362.83), it remains a crime under federal law. Private employers are therefore protected in firing or refusing to hire persons who use marijuana or test positive for marijuana use, even when the use was prescribed by a physician to alleviate a disability: “The FEHA does not require employers to accommodate the use of illegal drugs.” Ross v. Raging–Wire Telecommunications, Inc. (2008) 42 C4th 920, 926, 70 CR3d 382, 387.

In my opinion, the fact that marijuana remains prohibited by federal cirminal law, means that a school district can terminate an employee for the use of marijuana, even though it is permitted by state law -- because state officials are no less liable under federal criminal law, than are any other persons.

However, my opinion, while usually pretty accurate, is still just my opinion. If you want to know for certain, you will have to sue the school district and have a court formally declare your right to use marijuana under medical supervision while working for a state employer.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

However, with a public employer, the issue is more gray, because even though the use of marijuana is illegal under federal law, prohibiting an employee from exercising his or her rights under state law deprives the employee of equal protection, because

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