Forum focuses on medical marijuana and the workplace

Photo courtesy FAMU MMERI

Florida A&M Universitys Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative hosted another one of its “Conversations on Cannabis” virtual forums on Thursday. This forum, on Facebook Live, focused on medical marijuana and the workplace.

Heidi Otway, the host of the meeting, began by introducing the guest for the forum, attorney Kamilah Perry, and expressing her hope for an informative forum.

We know that you have a lot of good information to share with our audience today,” Otway said.

Otway also urged viewers to share the forum with others so they would not miss out. She also informed viewers that they could pose questions that they wanted answered throughout the discussion.

The forum zeroed in on some of the rules regarding using medical marijuana as an employee. Employees are supposed to inform their employers that they use medical marijuana and get permission to use it as an employee of that company.

An employee cannot use medical marijuana unless permitted by their employer,” Perry said.

This means that if your company has a policy against drug use, then you could be penalized for a positive drug test, even if you have a medical marijuana prescription. Some employers may allow their employees to use medical marijuana, but it is unlikely.

Florida employers have an incentive to create a drug-free workplace,” Perry said.

This incentive includes special insurance premiums that employers would not want to risk losing if they hired an employee who uses medical marijuana. Perry explained it creates liability issues and consequences that most employers would not want to deal with.

As the forum progressed, Otway read some questions that were sent ahead of time by participants when they registered for the forum.

How can we get the state legislatures to change the laws for medical marijuana?” one participant asked.

Perry advised that people need to lobby their state legislatures if they want to see changes in the laws. This could involve things like writing letters to lawmakers.

Perry did not let the forum end without taking the chance to debunk some of the rumors about medical marijuana in general. She explained that you are not immune to criminalization once you have a medical marijuana card.

People should keep their cards with them at all times and keep the medical marijuana in the original packaging to avoid issues with law enforcement if stopped or questioned. You also cannot drive under the influence of medical marijuana. That is still considered a DUI.

Those who missed the event and want more information on medical marijuana and the workplace can look for the recorded version on the MMERI Forum Radio YouTube channel.