You may already know that legislation implemented in 2022 has enabled Louisiana physicians to recommend raw or crude medical marijuana to patients. But, even with this legislation in place, patients who have received their Louisiana medical marijuana card still face certain risks. For example, a patient may be cleared to use medical marijuana by a physician. But, if the patient tests positive during a drug test, their employment could be put in jeopardy.
This is why moves to tackle issues relating to medical marijuana and employment protections have recently gained traction within the state. If you have obtained a Louisiana medical marijuana card or plan to seek a consultation for a medical marijuana recommendation, these developments could affect you. Learn more about the Employment and Medical Marijuana Task Force with Transformative Health Center.
What Is the Employment and Medical Marijuana Task Force?
In 2022, the Louisiana Legislature created the Employment and Medical Marijuana Task Force with HR 269. Organized by Rep. Mandie Landry, the purpose of this task force is to examine methods to address workplace barriers related to medical marijuana. For example, a patient who receives a Louisiana medical marijuana card can legally utilize medical marijuana within the state. However, while they may not be at odds with Louisiana’s justice system, they can still face other repercussions.
These can include being disqualified from certain positions or even losing their jobs after testing positive for marijuana in an employee drug test. This is why the Employment and Medical Marijuana Task Force is currently examing areas where medical marijuana patients and employers could benefit from additional legislative protections.
According to Peter Robins-Brown, a member of the task force, the clearest solution may be to create laws that treat a physician’s medical marijuana recommendation the same as other traditional prescriptions for the purposes of drug testing. For example, if a Louisiana employee tests positive for an opioid, but the employee has a legal prescription for an opioid drug, they are protected from failing the test.
Taking the Next Steps
The task force is exploring ways to put these same protections in place for medical marijuana patients. This includes reviewing steps that have already been taken to address these issues in other states where medical marijuana has been legalized. It also means examining ways to limit employers’ liability when it comes to intoxication in the workplace and discrimination issues. The Employment and Medical Marijuana Task Force members have until Dec. 21 to agree upon and submit their recommendations to the Louisiana Legislature. In the meantime, patients should keep up with the latest medical marijuana news to stay informed.
Could You Benefit From a Louisiana Medical Marijuana Card?
While the laws regulating therapeutic marijuana use in Louisiana continue to evolve, treatment may be available for those living with debilitating health conditions. If you believe you are eligible for a Louisiana medical marijuana card, we’re here for you. Simply call 225-888-4041 or make an appointment online and speak with a member of our staff. Don’t continue to suffer in silence. Take charge of your health today with services from Transformative Health Center.