By Oregon Cannabis Connection
New Jersey’s Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee voted unanimously in December to give employees who are legally using medical marijuana job protections. With a 7-0 vote the committee gave approval to legislation that would explicitly prohibit employers from firing or discriminating against any employees in the New Jersey program.
The law’s text says:
Unless an employer establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that the lawful use of medical marijuana has impaired the employee’s ability to perform the employee’s job responsibilities, it shall be unlawful to take any adverse employment action against an employee who is a qualified registered patient.
The bill’s sponsor, Senator Nicholas Scutari (D-Union), said, “It was not the intent of the legislature when we passed the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act to allow patients to lose their jobs simply because of their use of medical marijuana.”
The Assembly is taking it up during the 2016–17 session under Bill A2482, and hopefully when it clears the legislature Governor Chris Christie will sign it. Christie, unfortunately, has not been a friend to cannabis legislation, or medical cannabis patients.
Oregon should seriously consider this type of legislation to protect our own medical marijuana patients from discrimination. Hopefully there will be some interest in the 2017 session to make changes.
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