Anti-Prop 203 Bill Would Allow Employers to Discriminate Against Qualified Medical Pot Users

Categories: Medical Weed

yee kimberly 1.jpg
Image: www.azleg.gov
State Rep. Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix, wants employers to have the right to discriminate against and fire qualified medical marijuana users.

A state lawmaker wants to scratch out the anti-discrimination clause in Arizona's medical marijuana law and give immunity to employers who fire qualified patients.


The callous bill by State Representative Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix, also seeks to ban people from using medical weed "in a condominium or planned community common area that is open to use by the public."


The bill passed out of the House Committee on Employment and Regulatory Affairs with a 6-2 vote on Tuesday, according to an article by Rebekah Zemansky of the Cronkite News Service.

Because the bill so flagrantly flouts the 1998 Voter Protection Act, however, it would require a three-quarter majority vote by lawmakers before Governor Jan Brewer would have the chance to sign it.

"That's a clear violation of the Voter Protection Act," says Andrew Myers, after we reached him by phone and told him of the bill. "The worker protections are one of the most important features of the law."

Without the anti-discrimination part of the law, qualified users of medical marijuana could end up like Joseph Casias, a former Michigan Walmart employee, says Myers.

Casias, who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and sinus cancer, is qualified under Michigan law to use medical marijuana, (or, as anti-espanol Michigan calls it, marihuana). When he submitted to a drug test at work after twisting his knee, Walmart fired him when he came up positive for pot.

A Michigan judge today upheld the firing of Casias, noting that the state's medical pot law doesn't regulate private employers.

The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, however, specifically prohibits employers from discriminating in the same manner.

Myers also points out that the Voter Protection Act not only requires the three-quarter majority vote, but demands that any alteration to a voter-approved initiative must further "the purpose of the measure."

Yee's bill certainly doesn't do that.

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7 comments
Albert
Albert

They should have protection under Arizona State Law, but under Federal Law it gets tricky. They still have the right to go after anyone. Thank you to Andrew Meyers for adding the employee protections to the law, but they’ve made this HB 2541 a way to stop patients from having protection, because it MM is a drug that is unlawful under the controlled substance act of 1970. This is just a bill to allow them to fire any employee for any legal medication use without any recourse. Basically, it works like this…. Sam looks like he might have had a rough weekend, and his clothes aren’t pressed, and matching.. We under a good faith believe that he may or may not have consumed some legally prescribed medicine, and he may be impaired or not. We have the right to test, or not even test him, but just stick him on the street. Sam is now terminated! Little did they know that Sam was a diabetic that had some issues earlier this morning, but still came to work? Do you see where I’m going with this? But they fired him under Kimberly Yee’s law. No employee protection, and no recourse. Just completely wrong for Arizona.

Albert
Albert

She wasn’t the one to write this, an attorney who works with the chamber of commerce wrote it, and she introduced it. How can you try to enact a law that potentially violates the ADA, HIPPA, and items covered under the direction of the EEOC? It’s a bit scary how they can give employers the right to fire anyone based on a good faith belief, may, could, or intend to consume in the near future any drug. whether legal. prescribed by a physician or otherwise. The law gives an employer the right to come up with a program, and have complete control on what happen to the employee. This bill doesn’t just include Prop.203 users; it includes all drugs that “may” cause impairment. Legally prescribed by a doctor, and picked up at your local CVS, Walgreen’s, or from whoever. If you look like you could be under the influence of a medication, your employer could basically terminate you, or even if they think that an employee may have take a Federally/ FDA approved medication while at work. They have the complete control and option to place an employee on paid, unpaid, suspension, and termination. There is no (State) liability placed on the employer at all. It gives the excuse to say that your clothing, or even appearance, and even odor can be used against you. There is no kind of appeal, or any way to protest your firing as well. All prescription medication use is covered and protected under the ADA. This bill allows them to kick any employee to the curb without any kind of protest from an employee. Kimberly Yee has given the Federal Government, and all State Government an exemption from her proposed legislation. Why is that? That’s not equal treatment and protection under the law. This is some scary stuff. I know they put this together to stop people from taking advantage of Prop. 203, but they included all drugs/medication that “may” impair.. under a good faith belief that the employee did or might do or take medication. I hope everyone calls all of the Representatives in the State of Arizona.. and demand that they vote no on this proposed law.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

At least her bill does not bash non-white people. Other than that, I think she might be smoking something.

Charles Ward
Charles Ward

"Myers also points out that the Voter Protection Act not only requires the three-quarter majority vote, but demands that any alteration to a voter-approved initiative must further 'the purpose of the measure.'"

If Ms Yee will do some homework, she may note that the Voter Protection Act itself was passed mainly in order to prevent exactly what she proposes. In fact the interference by previous state legislatures with prior voter-passed medical marijuana initiatives specifically was in large part what prompted the Voter Protection Act.

Msmim2u2
Msmim2u2

Kimberly Yee's bill is posturing to gain some free press time. It is sad that when our state is in such crisis our legislature is spending inordinate amounts of time finding every way it can to hurt sick and dying patients. Ms Yee, Jan Brewer, Russell Pearce, Barbara LaWall, Steve Farley, etc must be put on notice. As a citizen of AZ I want to send a message loud and clear, we are patient's, we vote, and we will send our message loud and clear next election time. In the meantime, please spend some time educating yourself about this important issue so you can make educated decisions and stop the grandstanding.

Albert
Albert

Yeah…. Spend.. spend..spend… cut…spend…spend I heard they want to make the cuts to the Medicaid program and take away health care for poor, or even disabled childless adults, but they just passed or are going to pass some huge corporate tax cut bill. Way to go!!! You guys… are just so helpful to the State of Arizona.

azmarijuana.com
azmarijuana.com

Medical marijuana patients should be protected from employers the same way any other prescription drug user is. A patient living in pain should not have to worry that his/her medicine might get them fired.

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