- Jennifer Betz
Will You Get Fired for Using Medical Marijuana if You Have a Doctor’s Recommendation?
Concerned about how medical marijuana may affect your job status? You’re not alone. Keep reading to learn more!
Virginia residents have a complex set of laws to navigate when it comes to cannabis, and one of the most important elements to most adults—how marijuana use affects your job status—is also one of the most confusing.
The good news is that most people who get a Virginia marijuana card are protected from employers taking adverse action or discriminating against them for testing positive for THC on a drug screening. However, there are some exceptions to this rule as well.
In this post, we are going to take a look at whose medical marijuana use is protected, and what you need to do in order to prevent your employer from terminating you for marijuana use.
Can You Get Fired for Off-the-Clock Marijuana Use in Virginia?
On July 1, 2021, a set of new laws protecting Virginia workers went into effect, expanding the list of groups of people against which employers may not discriminate, and allowing accommodations for mothers who are pregnant or lactating.
This expansion includes medical marijuana cardholders. So employers cannot refuse to hire you based on positive THC results alone, and they cannot punish you for simply having THC in your system during regular drug screenings.
The exceptions to this rule include people who are in safety and transportation sectors, as well as anyone who works for a company that has contracts with the Federal Government. There may be other exceptions as well, and we recommend that Virginia residents who have a job in question contact a cannabis attorney for legal advice.
Can You Use Medical Marijuana at Work if You Have a Virginia Marijuana Card?
The subject of using medical marijuana while at work and on-the-clock is a little bit trickier to tackle. There are no Virginia laws requiring employers to make accommodations for medical marijuana patients to use cannabis while at work, and employees are prohibited from its use while on-the-clock.
Even if the company you work for has a positive attitude about cannabis use, most employers will stand by the prohibition of marijuana on company property and reporting to work impaired. Regardless of state laws, marijuana is illegal under Federal law and therefore its use is not protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Adult-Use Cannabis is Legal in Virginia - Can You Still Get Fired for Using it While Off-the-Clock?
Adult-use cannabis may now be legal to possess and use in Virginia, but your employer still has the right to fire you for using it. If you use marijuana without a doctor’s recommendation, your employer can enforce a drug-free policy when you test positive for THC. They can also deny you a job based on drug screenings that turn up positive for THC.
How Long Does Cannabis Stay in Your System?
One of the issues considered most unfair when it comes to many company drug policies, is the fact that marijuana can stay in your system for a considerable amount of time. Even if you only use marijuana once in a while, THC can still show up in a urinalysis for up to a week for very occasional users. For heavier users, you may need to quit using marijuana for a whole month before it is completely cleared out of your system.
Virginia is an Employment-At-Will State
Because Virginia is an employment-at-will state, then your employment can pretty much be terminated for any reason at all. Or for no reason at all. They don’t even have to give you a reason when they hand you the pink slip.
As an employee in Virginia, you have the freedom to strike or walk away from your job for any (or no) reason, and you can even quit with no notice without facing repercussions (other than maybe losing a good reference in your future job searches).
There are a few exceptions. Your employer cannot fire you as a result of discrimination based on categories outlined by Federal law. And Virginia state law prohibits discrimination based on its own set of categories as well, including medical marijuana use. Your employer also cannot just fire you for no good reason if you have an employment contract with them.
Get a Medical Marijuana Card to Protect Your Right to Natural Relief While Off the Clock
At Virginia Marijuana Card, we believe that everyone has a right to natural relief, and it can usually be achieved safely under the supervision of a doctor who understands cannabis and its effects.
However, until marijuana is Federally declassified, most employers will opt to prohibit marijuana use as much as possible. The only way to ensure that your rights are protected, is to get a medical marijuana card. Once you have one, you can legally purchase medical marijuana from any Virginia dispensary; and you can even order online and have it delivered right to your door in most locations.
The variety of products available at dispensaries is constantly expanding, and there is something to fit almost any lifestyle and preference.
Most of all, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that your job is protected as long as you don’t show up to work impaired, or use products containing high concentrations of THC while on the clock (with the exception of those that work in safety or transportation, or for an employer with a Federal contract).
Virginia Marijuana Card is Here to Help!
If you’re interested in taking the next steps toward obtaining legal natural relief, give us a call at (888) 633-5808 or schedule an appointment with one of our health professionals online today!
Qualifying for your card has never been easier, and we are here to walk you through every part of the process. Our patient support representatives are happy to answer all your questions, and our health professionals are friendly, non-judgmental and understanding.
You deserve natural relief, and we are here to help you make sure you can take advantage of the opportunity to experience the joy of using cannabis for your wellness firsthand.
Give us a call today, to start feeling your best before you know it.
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
At Virginia Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to MMJ. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (888) 633-5808, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out Virginia Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Virginia!