This is the third installment of the author’s episodic examination of the employment law implications of the legalization of medical marijuana. The first installment appeared in The Legal Intelligencer’s Feb. 9, 2017, online edition—shortly after Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act (MMA) became effective—and described some of the ambiguities of and practical difficulties with the MMA’s employment provisions. This was followed by an article in the March 21, 2019, edition of The Legal surveying how jurisprudence from other jurisdictions had addressed some of the issues identified in the first article. There now have been a few Pennsylvania decisions on the subject, which along with the courts elsewhere are slowly creating a body of law defining rights and obligations under the medical marijuana laws. From review of these recent cases we can conclude that the courts are sympathetic to medical marijuana patients, but to this point they have yet to squarely address the significant job safety issues likely to be encountered in the workplace, issues recognized in the Pennsylvania MMA as well as in the analogous legislation from other states.
Two Pennsylvania decisions of note provide insight into the approach of the commonwealth’s courts to the issues raised by the use of medical marijuana.
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