Although acceptance of medical marijuana at the state level is growing, federal prohibition remains unchanged.
That’s why the rights of four severely disabled individuals were not violated when the cities of Costa Mesa and Lake Forest (in California, where medical marijuana is allowed) banned dispensaries within their city limits.
In a suit, the four in question claimed that the American Disabilities Act (ADA) guaranteed their access to medically prescribed treatment. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed.
For your reference, here’s a quick look at the ruling:
Up In Smoke: Hopes Of ADA Protection For Medical Marijuana Use Are Dashed … For Now, Anyway (Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP)
“Here’s the problem: although medical marijuana use is legal under California state law, it is illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act. And the statute specifically says that ‘illegal’ means any drug made illegal by the federal Controlled … well, you know. The parties agreed on that point. But the ADA has an exception to the exclusion. The exception applies to ‘use of a drug taken under supervision of a licensed health care professional, or other uses authorized by the Controlled Substances Act or other provisions of federal law.’ The plaintiffs argued that this language meant that even a drug prohibited by the Controlled Substances Act was ok if ‘taken under supervision of a licensed health care professional.’” Read on»
Americans With Disabilities Act Does Not Protect Medical Marijuana Users That Face Discrimination Based On Their Use Of Marijuana (Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard)
“The court rejected this argument after examining the text of the statute and its legislative history. The court concluded ‘that doctor-supervised marijuana use is an illegal use of drugs not covered by the ADA’s supervised use exception.’ Although there is some indication ‘that the federal government’s views on the wisdom of restricting medical marijuana use may be evolving,’ as it currently stands ‘Congress has determined that, for purposes of federal law, marijuana is unacceptable for medical use.’ Therefore, medical marijuana use even where recommended by a physician does not fall within the ADA’s supervised use exception.” Read on»
“Although the issue considered by the Court did not arise in the employment context, because the terms analyzed by the Court are the same as those used in the employment provisions of the ADA, it is reasonable to expect that the Court’s decision will also apply in the employment context.” Read on»
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