arcannabisclinic
top of page

Search Blog Articles

Can A Job Not Hire You If You Have A Medical Card In Arkansas?

Navigating the world of employment with a medical marijuana card in hand can be a bit of a tightrope walk, especially in Arkansas. While medical cannabis patients have certain legal protections under state law, the intersection of federal law and company policy can sometimes blur the lines. This blog aims to delve into the key topics around employment discrimination, company policy, and the rights of medical marijuana cardholders in the Arkansas workplace.


Job Search as a medical marijuana patient in Arkansas



Table of Contents:




Employment Rights of Medical Marijuana Cardholders in Arkansas


In the realm of employment, medical marijuana cardholders often find themselves in murky waters, trying to balance their medical needs with the expectations and regulations of the workplace. Arkansas has taken steps to ensure some level of protection for medical marijuana patients against employment discrimination.


Arkansas law, particularly through the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, provides a layer of legal protection to medical marijuana cardholders. Under this amendment, employers with nine or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against applicants or existing employees based on their past or present status as a medical marijuana cardholder​1​. However, this protection has its limits. For instance, an employer is not required to accommodate the ingestion of marijuana in the workplace or an employee working under the influence of marijuana​ 2​.


A significant concern arises when a positive drug test is flagged during pre-employment drug screenings or random drug tests during employment. Despite having a medical card, the federal law still classifies marijuana as a controlled substance, creating a dichotomy with state law. This grey area can potentially lead to adverse action from the employer, especially in safety-sensitive positions where a positive drug test may be a non-negotiable issue.


A medical marijuana cardholder may be faced with disciplinary action if found using marijuana during work hours, even if it’s for medical purposes. This scenario is common in safety-sensitive jobs such as operating heavy machinery, where the influence of marijuana could pose serious safety risks.


It’s crucial for both employers and employees to have a clear understanding of the company policy regarding the use of medical marijuana. Employers are encouraged to have well-defined drug-free workplace policies that are in compliance with Arkansas law, while also ensuring a safe and productive work environment.


For medical marijuana patients, being informed about their rights and the existing legal framework is essential. This includes understanding the legal protections available, how to handle a situation where a positive drug test could lead to disciplinary action, and what reasonable accommodations might be available.


Key Takeaway: Knowledge is power. Being well-informed about the legal protections available under Arkansas law, and understanding the nuances of company policy regarding drug use, especially the use of medical marijuana, can help medical marijuana cardholders maintain a balance between their medical needs and their employment rights.


"Medical marijuana patients in Arkansas are protected under state law, but the interplay with federal law and company policies creates a complex landscape. Knowledge is key to navigating employment rights." Tweet This

For those in Arkansas seeking to understand more about their qualification for a medical marijuana card, the medical screening process at ARCannabisClinic can provide a pathway to understanding their medical condition and the relevant state laws that provide employment protections.




Discrimination Concerns: Protections for Medical Marijuana Patients in the Workplace


The realm of employment discrimination, especially for medical marijuana patients, is a topic of considerable discussion in recent years. The core of the issue lies in the complex interplay between federal law, state law, and private employers' policies. Despite the medical marijuana program's legal status in many states, including Arkansas, the federal government still categorizes marijuana as a controlled substance. This federal-state law dichotomy often leads to a challenging environment for medical marijuana patients in the workplace.


Arkansas has enacted laws to curtail employment discrimination based on an individual’s present status as a medical marijuana cardholder. Under the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, employers cannot refuse to hire or discipline individuals solely based on their status as medical marijuana patients. However, the amendment does not require employers to accommodate the use of medical marijuana in the workplace, nor does it protect employees who undertake tasks under the influence of marijuana, especially in safety-sensitive positions.


Employers often have drug-free workplace policies in place, primarily to comply with federal guidelines and maintain a safe, productive work environment. These policies sometimes include pre-employment drug screenings and random drug testing during employment. A positive drug test result, even for a medical marijuana user, can lead to adverse action including, but not limited to, refusal to hire, disciplinary action, or termination.


However, the landscape is not entirely bleak for medical marijuana patients. Legal protections under state law provide a buffer against outright employment discrimination. The key for medical marijuana patients is to understand their rights under state law, the extent of legal protections available, and the implications of federal law on their employment.


It's advisable for medical marijuana patients to seek legal advice to better understand their rights and responsibilities in the workplace. Knowledge about the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use and the legal landscape can equip individuals with the necessary information to advocate for their rights in the workplace.


Key Takeaway: The protections available for medical marijuana patients against employment discrimination are a crucial step towards creating a more inclusive work environment. However, the clash between federal and state law continues to create a complex scenario that requires a deeper understanding and open discussions between employers and employees.


"Protections for medical marijuana patients against employment discrimination are steps towards a more inclusive work environment in Arkansas." Tweet This

Understanding the legal framework and staying informed about the rights and protections available can aid in fostering a better, more inclusive work environment for medical marijuana patients.




Navigating Arkansas Constitutional Amendment 98: What Employers and Employees Should Know


Understanding the Arkansas Constitutional Amendment 98 is crucial for both employers and employees to ensure a conducive work environment for medical marijuana patients. This amendment, which forms the legal basis for the use of medical marijuana in Arkansas, lays down specific rules concerning employment and the rights of medical marijuana cardholders.


One of the core provisions of this amendment is that employers cannot discriminate against individuals solely based on their present status as a medical marijuana cardholder. However, the amendment does not provide carte blanche to employees; it doesn't require employers to accommodate the use of medical marijuana in the workplace or permit employees to work under the influence of marijuana. This is particularly relevant in safety-sensitive positions where the operation of heavy machinery or other critical tasks could be jeopardized by the effects of marijuana.


Employers have the right to establish drug-free workplace policies, which may include pre-employment drug screenings and random drug testing. These policies are often driven by a commitment to maintaining a safe and productive work environment, and sometimes by federal regulations, especially if the company is a recipient of federal funding.


On the flip side, employees have the responsibility to understand the extent and limitations of the protections provided by Amendment 98. While the amendment protects against discrimination based on present status as a medical marijuana cardholder, it doesn’t protect against disciplinary action due to positive drug test results, especially if it impairs their ability to perform their job safely and effectively.

Employers may also have concerns about the legal challenges that may arise from disciplinary actions against medical marijuana users. It's advisable for employers to seek legal advice to ensure that their company policies are in line with Arkansas law and to understand the potential implications of federal law on their operations.


An open dialogue between employers and employees, coupled with clear, well-communicated company policies, can help bridge the gap of understanding and foster a more inclusive workplace.


Key Takeaway: The Arkansas Constitutional Amendment 98 provides a framework for the rights and responsibilities of both employers and employees concerning medical marijuana use. Understanding this amendment, coupled with clear communication, can foster a conducive work environment for all.


"The Arkansas Constitutional Amendment 98 lays the groundwork for a balanced approach to medical marijuana use in the workplace, promoting understanding between employers and employees." Tweet This

For those seeking to delve deeper into the qualifications for medical marijuana use, the how to get a marijuana card guide can provide insightful details into the process and the legal landscape in Arkansas.




Understanding the Limits: Medical Marijuana Use in the Workplace


The use of medical marijuana in the workplace is a nuanced subject, with a fine balance between the rights of medical marijuana patients and the need for a safe, productive work environment. Both federal and state laws play critical roles in shaping the rights and restrictions regarding medical marijuana use, especially during work hours.


At the heart of the matter, federal law classifies marijuana as a controlled substance. However, many states, including Arkansas, have legalized medical marijuana use, creating a patchwork of regulations that both employers and employees need to comprehend.


Arkansas has put forth regulations to ensure a level of protection for medical marijuana patients against employment discrimination. Yet, there are clear boundaries. For instance, employers are not required to accommodate the use of medical marijuana in the workplace, nor are they required to permit employees to work under the influence of marijuana. This is particularly significant in safety-sensitive positions, where there's a potential for serious accidents.


Employers often establish drug-free workplace policies to adhere to federal guidelines and ensure a safe work environment. These policies might include pre-employment drug screenings and random drug testing, which could potentially conflict with an employee's use of medical marijuana for medical purposes.


Reasonable accommodations might be a middle ground, yet the extent of these accommodations can vary widely from one employer to another. It's advisable for medical marijuana patients to have open discussions with their employers, understand the company's drug-free workplace policy, and seek legal advice if necessary.


Employers, on the other hand, are encouraged to update their policies to align with state law while maintaining compliance with federal law. This may include revising drug testing policies or exploring alternative solutions that balance the needs of the business with the rights of medical marijuana patients.


Key Takeaway: Understanding the limits of medical marijuana use in the workplace is crucial for both employers and employees to foster a conducive work environment. Clear communication, updated company policies, and a thorough understanding of the legal landscape can contribute to a more inclusive workplace.


"Understanding the limits of medical marijuana use in the workplace fosters a conducive environment for both employers and employees." Tweet This

For a deeper understanding of medical marijuana and its impact on various medical conditions, the how marijuana helps with chronic pain page provides insightful information that could be beneficial for both employers and employees.




The Grey Areas: Can Employers Fire or Refuse Hiring Based on Medical Marijuana Use?


The rise in medical marijuana legalization across various states has created a complex landscape for both employers and employees, especially when it comes to hiring and employment continuation. The grey areas surrounding medical marijuana use and employment are numerous, often leading to legal ambiguities.


In many states, the law protects medical marijuana cardholders from employment discrimination, but these protections have their limits. Employers have the right to maintain a drug-free workplace, especially for safety-sensitive positions. The clash between state law and federal law, which still classifies marijuana as a controlled substance, further muddies the waters.


Employers often have policies in place regarding drug use that are designed to ensure the safety and productivity of all employees. A positive drug test could lead to a refusal to hire or even termination, even if the drug use is sanctioned by state law for medical purposes.


For instance, in safety-sensitive positions, the risk associated with use of marijuana could be deemed too high, regardless of the legality of medical marijuana use. Employers have to balance the legal protections afforded to medical marijuana patients with the need to maintain a safe work environment.


Furthermore, federal employees and employees of companies that contract with the federal government or receive federal funds might find themselves under stricter drug-free workplace policies. This is a clear instance where federal law could trump state law, leaving medical marijuana users in a precarious position.


Reasonable suspicion of being under the influence of marijuana during work hours is another area where employers might have legal grounds for disciplinary action, even in states with legal medical marijuana use.


Key Takeaway: The intersection of state laws, federal laws, and employer policies creates a complex scenario for both employers and medical marijuana patients. It's crucial for both parties to have a clear understanding of the laws and policies in place, and for open dialogue to occur to ensure a fair and safe work environment.


"Balancing the legal protections for medical marijuana patients with the need for a safe work environment creates a complex scenario for employers." Tweet This

For more clarity on how medical marijuana use is perceived and the qualifications required, visiting the marijuana card qualifying conditions page could provide some insightful information. Moreover, understanding the broader picture of employment discrimination and how it intersects with medical marijuana use can be found here, providing a deeper dive into the state and federal laws surrounding this grey area.




Crafting Company Policies: Balancing Employee Rights and Workplace Safety with Medical Marijuana Laws


The ascent of medical marijuana laws in various states has presented a unique challenge for employers. How to balance the rights of medical marijuana patients with the necessity of maintaining a safe and productive workplace? Crafting company policies that address the use of medical marijuana while safeguarding workplace safety is crucial.


The cornerstone is understanding both federal law and state law regarding medical marijuana use. Federal law still categorizes marijuana as a controlled substance, which can create complications, especially for companies with federal contracts or federal employees.


One of the prime areas of focus should be on positions classified as safety-sensitive. In such roles, the use of marijuana, even for medical purposes, can pose significant risks. Employers may need to consider alternative reasonable accommodations for employees in these positions who are medical marijuana cardholders.


Moreover, drug testing remains a standard practice among many employers. It's vital to define the circumstances under which drug testing will be conducted. For instance, pre-employment screenings, random testing, or reasonable suspicion testing. The policy should clearly delineate the implications of a positive drug test.


Employers should also address the use of medical marijuana outside of work hours. Clarifying the company's stance on off-duty use and whether it will impact an employee's employment status is essential for avoiding potential legal hurdles.


Key Takeaway: Crafting a clear, comprehensive, and legally compliant policy requires a thorough understanding of both state and federal laws regarding medical marijuana use. It's a delicate balance between ensuring workplace safety and respecting the rights of medical marijuana patients.


"Creating a balanced company policy around medical marijuana use is a testament to an employer's commitment to both workplace safety and employee rights." Tweet This

For a deeper understanding of medical marijuana laws and how they interact with employment, the how to get a marijuana card page offers valuable insights. Moreover, the Employment Law Handbook provides an extensive look at how different states handle medical marijuana in the employment context, aiding in crafting informed company policies.




FAQ


What are the primary concerns for employers regarding medical marijuana use in the workplace in Arkansas?

Employers in Arkansas are notably concerned about the ramifications of medical marijuana use among their employees, especially during work hours. There is no requirement for accommodation for employee use of medical marijuana while under the influence or while present in the workplace​​.


How has the state of Arkansas provided guidance to employers on medical marijuana in the workplace?

The Arkansas Legislature has presented guidance to help employers prepare for the integration of medical marijuana in the workplace. Act 593 of 2017 is a significant piece of legislation that provides a framework for employers and employees regarding medical marijuana use, although some questions may remain unanswered as the situation continues to evolve​​.


How can a company in Arkansas create a balanced policy on medical marijuana use?

Crafting a balanced policy involves understanding and integrating state laws, such as Act 593 of 2017, into the company's existing policies. Employers should consider consulting with legal experts to ensure their policies are compliant with state laws, and may need to consider the nature of the work, especially for safety-sensitive positions when crafting their policies.


How does Arkansas law view medical marijuana in comparison to recreational marijuana in the workplace?

Arkansas law distinctly treats medical marijuana differently from recreational marijuana, especially in the workplace. Medical marijuana use has legal backing under specific conditions, while recreational marijuana use does not enjoy such protections.


Are there any protections for medical marijuana cardholders against discrimination in the workplace?

Yes. Medical marijuana cardholders have certain protections against discrimination, but these protections have limits. For instance, employers are not required to accommodate medical marijuana use while at work or under the influence.


What is the significance of Amendment 98 in Arkansas concerning medical marijuana in the workplace?

Amendment 98, which legalizes medical marijuana use in Arkansas, has created a new paradigm for both employers and employees. It provides a legal framework for medical marijuana use but does not require employers to accommodate medical marijuana use in the workplace or while under the influence.


Are there any particular jobs or industries in Arkansas that have specific rules concerning medical marijuana use?

Jobs or industries that are considered safety-sensitive may have specific rules concerning medical marijuana use. Companies may have more stringent policies in place to ensure workplace safety in such positions.


How can employers in Arkansas maintain a drug-free workplace while complying with medical marijuana laws?

Employers can maintain a drug-free workplace by clearly defining the boundaries of medical marijuana use, especially during work hours, and ensuring these policies are well-communicated to all employees. Employers can also conduct regular training and awareness programs to educate employees on the company's stance on medical marijuana use.


What is the role of the Department of Health in Arkansas concerning medical marijuana in the workplace?

The Department of Health in Arkansas plays a significant role in the medical marijuana landscape, as it processes thousands of applications for medical marijuana cards which employees are bringing to their workplaces​.


What should an employer in Arkansas do if an employee discloses medical marijuana use?

If an employee discloses medical marijuana use, the employer should review its own policies, consult with legal counsel, and have a clear communication with the employee to understand the implications and ensure compliance with state laws and company policies.


What are the rights of medical marijuana cardholders during the hiring process in Arkansas? Employers in Arkansas are prohibited from discriminating against job applicants based on their status as medical marijuana patients. This means they cannot decline to hire a candidate for a non-safety-sensitive position solely because of a positive marijuana test result conducted outside the work environment.


How does Arkansas law protect medical marijuana patients in the workplace? Arkansas law protects medical marijuana patients by prohibiting employers from firing or declining to hire them for non-safety-sensitive positions due to a positive marijuana test result from outside the workplace. This protection extends to current employees, barring employers from terminating their employment on the same grounds.


Are there any situations where an employer in Arkansas can refuse to hire a medical marijuana cardholder? Yes, employers can refuse to hire medical marijuana cardholders for safety-sensitive positions. These positions include jobs like truck driving or manufacturing explosives, where being under the influence of marijuana could pose significant safety risks.


What constitutes a safety-sensitive position? A safety-sensitive position is typically one where the employee's job tasks could affect their own or others' safety. Employers have the right to designate positions as safety-sensitive, provided they include the required physical and mental competencies for the role.


Can employers in Arkansas have drug testing programs? Yes, employers in Arkansas can establish drug testing programs. However, they cannot fire or refuse to hire medical marijuana patients who test positive for marijuana unless they are applying for or working in a safety-sensitive position.


What if a medical marijuana patient fails a drug screen for substances other than marijuana? Employers in Arkansas can decline to hire or fire medical marijuana patients who fail a drug screen for substances other than marijuana, as the protection under Arkansas law specifically covers marijuana use in accordance with a medical marijuana card.


Can an employer in Arkansas accommodate the ingestion of marijuana in the workplace? No, employers are not required to accommodate the ingestion of marijuana in the workplace, nor are they required to allow an employee to work under the influence of marijuana.


What are the penalties for employers who violate these provisions? Employers, particularly large ones with more than 500 employees, who violate these provisions could face penalties of up to $300,000 per person per violation of the state Constitution.


What should employers in Arkansas know about medical marijuana laws? Employers should understand the rights of medical marijuana patients and ensure their company policies comply with Arkansas law to avoid potential legal issues. They should also educate themselves on which positions can be designated as safety-sensitive and ensure proper designation to maintain a safe working environment.


Is there a way for medical marijuana patients to learn about their employment rights in Arkansas? Yes, medical marijuana patients can learn about their employment rights in Arkansas by consulting with legal professionals, exploring resources provided by the state, or contacting organizations dedicated to medical marijuana advocacy.


What are some examples of safety-sensitive positions in Arkansas where medical marijuana use might be restricted? Safety-sensitive positions are often those where the individual's job tasks could pose a risk to their own or others' safety if performed under the influence of marijuana. Examples include truck driving, manufacturing explosives, operating heavy machinery, or any position requiring precise coordination and clear-headedness.


How can employers in Arkansas identify safety-sensitive positions within their organizations? Employers can identify safety-sensitive positions by evaluating the nature of the job tasks and the potential risks involved. They should consider whether the position requires high levels of concentration, coordination, and quick decision-making, or involves handling hazardous materials or operating heavy machinery.


Can employers in Arkansas designate any position as safety-sensitive? No, employers need to have a clear, logical basis for designating a position as safety-sensitive. The designation should be based on the actual job tasks and the potential risks involved, not on arbitrary or discriminatory factors.


What are some common misconceptions employers have regarding medical marijuana use and employment in Arkansas? A common misconception is that employers can fire or not hire an employee who is a medical marijuana card holder if they fail a drug test for marijuana. However, under Arkansas law, this is not permissible unless the position is designated as safety-sensitive.


How can employers in Arkansas update their company policies to comply with medical marijuana laws? Employers can update their company policies by reviewing and revising their drug testing and substance abuse policies. They should ensure that these policies are in line with Arkansas law regarding medical marijuana use, and clearly communicate any changes to all employees.


How can medical marijuana patients in Arkansas ensure they are treated fairly in the workplace? Medical marijuana patients can ensure fair treatment by understanding their rights under Arkansas law, keeping open communication with their employers, and consulting with legal professionals if they believe their rights have been violated.


What resources are available for employers in Arkansas to learn about medical marijuana laws and employment? Employers can consult with legal professionals, explore resources provided by the state, or contact organizations dedicated to medical marijuana advocacy. They can also attend workshops or webinars focusing on medical marijuana laws and employment in Arkansas.


Is there a platform for addressing disputes regarding medical marijuana use and employment in Arkansas? Yes, disputes regarding medical marijuana use and employment can be addressed through the legal system. Employees who believe their rights have been violated can seek legal counsel to pursue a case against their employer.


What is the general attitude towards medical marijuana use in the workplace in Arkansas? The attitude towards medical marijuana use in the workplace can vary. Some employers may be understanding and compliant with the law, while others may have reservations due to concerns about productivity and workplace safety.


How has the legal landscape regarding medical marijuana use and employment evolved in Arkansas? The legal landscape has evolved with the passage of laws protecting medical marijuana patients from discrimination in the workplace. However, there are still grey areas, especially concerning safety-sensitive positions, that continue to be clarified through legal cases and further legislative action.




Conclusion


The landscape of medical marijuana use and employment is continually evolving, making it imperative for both employers and employees to stay informed. Individuals seeking legal access to medical marijuana in Arkansas can reach out to ARCannabisClinic, a national network of marijuana doctors dedicated to assisting patients. They offer an industry-leading MMJ Therapy Visit, a personalized consultation with a cannabis expert. This one-on-one session helps craft a medical marijuana treatment plan complete with strains, ratios, and dosing instructions to suit the patient’s medical condition. As pioneers in full diagnosis evaluations including PTSD, anxiety, and various medical evaluations to unearth other possible qualifying conditions, ARCannabisClinic stands as a reliable bridge between patients and the medical marijuana program. Through proper guidance, individuals can better navigate the nuanced realms of employment law and medical cannabis use in Arkansas.

doctor talking to a patient about medical marijuana as an option for treatment

MARIJUANA
DOCTOR VISIT ONLINE

Experience the convenience of ARCannabisClinic's online doctor visits, offering professional, compassionate, and comprehensive marijuana-based medical advice, all at your fingertips.

medical marijuana patient happy and smiling talking to a marijuana doctor
bottom of page