Writ Of Cannabis Corpus: Your Questions For A Marijuana Lawyer
the420times | Oct 31, 2012 | Comments 0
Employment law, using your doctor’s rec in other states and more — Wolfgang Kovach takes your questions about the law, your rights and your need to know.
My employer makes a bunch of stoner jokes at the place where I work. Can I be fired for being a medical marijuana patient?
Yes. According to Ross v. RagingWire Telecommunications, Inc. (2008) 42 Cal.4th 920, nothing in the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) precludes an employer from firing, or refusing to hire, a person who uses an illegal drug. Because the possession and use of marijuana is illegal under federal law, a court has no legitimate authority to require an employer to accommodate an employee’s use of marijuana, even if it is for medicinal purposes.
Do I need to be a resident of California to be a medical marijuana patient in California — and will my California recommendation work in other states?
Yes, you need to be a resident of California. The Compassionate Use Act and Medical Marijuan Program apply to California citizens only. As far as using your California recommendation in other states, it will not work in other states — even if that state has a medical marijuana program.
Is there anywhere in public I can medicate or does it need to be in a non-public area?
You can find out more guidance in the California Health & Safety Code § 11362.79 which provides, “Nothing in this article shall authorize a qualified patient or person with an identification card to engage in the smoking of medical marijuana under any of the following circumstances: (a) In any place where smoking is prohibited by law. (b) In or within 1,000 feet of the grounds of a school, recreation center, or youth center, unless the medical use occurs within a residence. (c) On a schoolbus. (d) While in a motor vehicle that is being operated. (e) While operating a boat.
Common sense dictates where to medicate when appropriate. Nobody wants someone to call the cops — and the cops will definitely hassle you.
More importantly, leave your medical marijuana at home if you are going onto Federal or Tribal property in California because cannabis remains illegal under federal law even for medical users.
How does the cops determine if you are driving under the influence of medical marijuana? Are there any guidelines?
The smell of burnt medical marijuana, red eyes and admitting that you recently ingested/smoked medical marijuana are the usual ways. Many patients do not realize that it is not a defense that the he or she is legally entitled to use medical marijuana. Under California law a person is under the influence if, his or her mental or physical abilities are so impaired that he or she is no longer able to drive a vehicle with the caution of a sober person, using ordinary care, under similar circumstances. Designate a driver if you have to medicate — plus carpooling saves gas.
I wanted to grow for myself, can my landlord evict me for doing so?
It depends on the terms of your lease. Most leases have language that prohibits tenants from engaging in illegal activity on the premises (State or Federal). Although you can grow under State law, marijuana is illegal under federal law. The result in Ross v. RagingWire would probably be the same in the context of housing as nothing in the FEHA would preclude a Landlord from evicting you.
Wolfgang Kovach is a Southern California-based attorney specializing in medical marijuana law
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