|9th Circuit Holds Medical Marijuana Use Is Not Protected By ADA|
|Wednesday, 11 July 2012 15:47|
In a recent case, James v. City of Costa Mesa, the Ninth Circuit has held that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not protect illegal drug use, which includes medical marijuana use supervised by a doctor in accordance with California law.
Previously, in Ross v. Ragingwire Telecomm Inc.(2008) the California Supreme Court held that the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) does not protect current users of medical marijuana.
The Ninth Circuit panel (2-1) agreed, concluding that “doctor-recommended marijuana use permitted by state law, but prohibited by federal law, is an illegal use of drugs for purposes of the ADA, and that the plaintiffs’ federally proscribed medical marijuana use therefore brings them within the ADA’s illegal drug exclusion.”
“We recognize that the plaintiffs are gravely ill, and that their request for ADA relief implicates not only their right to live comfortably, but also their basic human dignity. We also acknowledge that California has embraced marijuana as an effective treatment for individuals like the plaintiffs who face debilitating pain. Congress has made clear, however, that the ADA defines ‘illegal drug use’ by reference to federal, rather than state, law, and federal law does not authorize the plaintiffs’ medical marijuana use. We therefore necessarily conclude that the plaintiffs’ medical marijuana use is not protected by the ADA.”
Source: Employment Law Weekly — www.employmentlawweekly.com