Medical marijuana is still relatively new for Louisiana, and with new medical marijuana registrations on the rise, the Pelican State is making a lot of headway with cannabis.
As with any new State program, there are challenges that arise due to the change in laws or passage of new laws. That has certainly been the case with medical marijuana.
Infrastructure, law enforcement, and businesses must all adapt to something as big as a medical marijuana program. For Louisiana, the state has yet to catch up in terms of employers and medical marijuana.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about medical marijuana and employment and what you need to know about your rights as a medical marijuana patient.
Your Rights as a Louisiana Medical Marijuana Patient
Having a Medical Marijuana Certification Grants You Certain Rights
Being a medical marijuana patient certainly gives you rights that are not available without a card.
As a medical marijuana patient with a valid medical marijuana certification, you can legally purchase and possess cannabis products and won’t be subject to the legal ramifications if possessing illegal cannabis.
Without a medical marijuana certification, you receive no legal protections, no additional rights as a patient, and certainly won’t have any benefits as an employee.
Louisiana makes it very easy to get your medical marijuana certification. This is the first step in ensuring that you have the full legal protections available to qualified medical marijuana patients.
Your Rights as an Employee in Louisiana
Louisiana maintains Civil Rights laws, protecting you from being fired or not hired because of a disability or skin color, for example.
Your status as a medical marijuana patient will not explicitly prevent you from being hired, because being a medical marijuana patient is not a terminable offense.
However, it’s important to note that Louisiana does not have specific legislation concerning employers and medical marijuana yet. Although your status as a medical marijuana patient should not affect your ability to be hired, it does not mean that using cannabis (in any capacity) is not a factor that could prevent you from being hired or terminated.
Laws are always changing, and Louisiana may implement employment specific legislation in the future. Until then, the best way to fully understand the legal rights concerning medical marijuana and employment is to consult legal counsel.
Medical Marijuana & Employment in Louisiana
Medical Marijuana in the Workplace
Because Louisiana hasn’t created any legislation concerning medical marijuana and employment, most of the rules that have always applied to cannabis and employment remain, regardless of the status of a medical marijuana certification.
Most places do not permit the use of drugs of any kind at the workplace, and typically you’ll find “Drug-Free Workplace” signs accompanying many company bulletin boards.
Medical marijuana isn’t classified differently than illegal marijuana by employers in Louisiana, so using medical marijuana in the workplace will likely be prohibited and almost certainly a terminable offense.
This restriction will inevitably include paraphernalia, and it is likely to be extended to contractors as well as full-time and part-time employees.
Certain Positions May Outrightly Restrict Cannabis Use Altogether
Safety-sensitive positions will almost always exclusively prohibit drug use of any kind.
These types of positions will not be suitable for medical marijuana patients in most capacities, and employers will typically define these positions in clear writing.
These positions can include jobs like:
· Any position working with chemicals that require a federal or state permit
· Correctional facilities
· Jobs that work with high-voltage electricity or public utility
· Labor that involves heights or confined spaces such as scaffolding or mining
· Positions requiring the operation of a vehicle, aircraft, train, boat, or heavy machinery
· Youth detention centers
Drug Testing for Medical Marijuana Patients in Louisiana
Medical marijuana patients may be subject to drug testing by employers, and this is largely up to the employer.
There aren’t different classifications for medical or illegal cannabis use in Louisiana employment, and as of right now, employers can deny you employment or terminate your employment because of a positive drug test.
This ultimately depends on the policies of the company and the position, though for now there are no protections for medical marijuana patients that would exclude them from drug testing.
Many companies, like Amazon, are moving away from drug tests entirely, citing medical marijuana as the reason why. Progressive companies may take a more relaxed approach on cannabis specifically, free to incorporate medical marijuana friendly policies.
Get Your Louisiana Medical Marijuana Certification
Louisiana offers you significant legal protection for having a medical marijuana certification. Without a medical marijuana certification, possession of cannabis is illegal and could land you in jail. A medical marijuana card is the only way to access legal protections for consumering cannabis in Louisiana. Having a medical marijuana certification is the only way to ensure you are following the law in Louisiana.
Beat the lines and get your medical marijuana certification in Louisiana today, and you can even get certified for medical marijuana online for ease of use and convenience.
For questions about Louisiana’s medical marijuana program or how to become a medical marijuana patient in Louisiana, consult with one of our trusted doctors and book an online medical marijuana appointment today!
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
At Louisiana Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (833) 253-2943, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
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