On June 8, 2016, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed legislation (H.B. 523) making Ohio the 25th state to adopt a workable medical marijuana law. The legislation will allow seriously ill patients to use and purchase medical cannabis that will be cultivated and processed in-state.
With regards to employment, the bill does not:
- Require an employer to permit or accommodate an employee’s use, possession, or distribution of medical marijuana.
- Prohibit an employer from taking any adverse employment action an employer may take under current law because of a person’s use, possession, or distribution of medical marijuana.
- Permit a person to sue an employer for taking an adverse employment action related to medical marijuana.
- Prohibit an employer from establishing and enforcing a drug-testing policy, drug-free workplace policy, or zero-tolerance drug policy or interfere with federal restrictions on employment, including U.S. Department of Transportation regulations.
In addition, a person who is discharged from employment because of the person’s medical marijuana use will be found to have been discharged for just cause under the Unemployment Compensation Law if the use violated an employer’s drug-free workplace policy, zero-tolerance policy, or other formal program or policy regulating medical marijuana use and will be thus ineligible for unemployment benefits.
The bill also maintains the rebuttable presumption that an employee is ineligible for workers’ compensation if the employee was under the influence of marijuana and being under the influence of marijuana was the proximate cause of the injury, regardless of whether the marijuana use is recommended by a physician.
The law goes into effect September 8, 2016.
Read OH H.B. 523