A Rhode Island Superior Court judge will allow an employment discrimination case involving medical marijuana to go forward. The case hinges on a University of Rhode Island student’s summer job and her status as a medical marijuana cardholder.
Rhode Island Superior Court justice Richard Licht denied Darlington Fabrics Company’s request to dismiss an employee discrimination case. The case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island on behalf of University of Rhode Island student Christine Callaghan. Callaghan claims she didn’t get a summer job with Darlington because she uses medical marijuana. Volunteer ACLU attorney Carly Iafrate said a Rhode Island statute should have protected the student.
“We’re going to continue to have the opportunity to make sure this law is recognized by employers that are here in Rhode Island, and that people do not ultimately have to make a choice between a job they really could be great at and the ability to treat a serious medical condition,” said Iafrate.
Iafrate also believes the issue doesn’t contradict federal law.
“The federal law does not prohibit employers from hiring people who are engaged in the medical use of marijuana.”
Medical marijuana-related employee discrimination cases have been shot down in other states, in part because federal law still prohibits the use of marijuana. Darlington Fabrics did not immediately return requests for comment.
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