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Collision of Medical Marijuana and Oregon Disability Laws Leaves Employers in Limbo

September 8, 2005
Among the challenging human resource issues for Oregon employers in the last decade is the question of how to handle employees who are legally using marijuana for disabling medical conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, AIDS or chronic pain.

If an individual qualifies for a medical marijuana card under Oregon's Medical Marijuana Act (MMA), the individual likely qualifies for protection under Oregon's disability laws as those laws have currently been interpreted. Does this mean employers must accommodate medical marijuana use?

Maybe. The Court of Appeals stated that its ruling is not a mandate to accommodate all medical marijuana users in the workplace. Each case may require an employer to take a different direction. This article outlines proactive steps to protect your business from disability related claims.