The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that a newly-hired employee who was terminated because she tested positive for marijuana use can sue her former employer for handicap discrimination. Christina Barbuto suffers from Crohn’s disease and her physician had provided her with a written certification allowing her to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. Medical and recreational marijuana use is legal in Massachusetts in limited amounts.
The court rejected the employer’s argument that it could not accommodate the plaintiff because her continued use of medical marijuana is a federal crime. It also dismissed the employer’s contention that it owed the plaintiff no obligation to participate in an interactive process to identify a reasonable accommodation before firing her. See case here http://www.mass.gov/courts/docs/sjc/reporter-of-decisions/new-opinions/12226.pdf