New Jersey: Supreme Court Affirms Employee Cannot Be Discriminated Against Solely for Off-The-Job Medical Cannabis Use

Trenton, NJ: An employer may not discriminate against a medical cannabis patient who consumes the substance while away from the job, according to a ruling handed down Tuesday by the state’s Supreme Court. The Court’s opinion affirms a 2019 ruling by the state’s Appellate Court.

The decision allows the plaintiff’s discrimination lawsuit against his former employer to move forward. The plaintiff had been fired by his former company for using medical cannabis in compliance with state law as part of his cancer treatment. The company had sought to dismiss the plaintiff’s lawsuit.

The case is Wild v. Carriage Funeral Holdings, Inc.

Courts in Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island have recently issued similar rulings affording workplace protections for qualified medical cannabis patients.

Last year, New Jersey lawmakers passed legislation, Assembly Bill 20, explicitly “prohibit[ing] employers from taking any adverse employment action against an employee based on the employee’s status as a registry identification cardholder.”

For more information, contact Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel, at (202) 483-5500.