Can you get fired for having a medical card in Oklahoma in 2020? This is a commonly asked question in the Sooner State. Oklahoma’s fledgling medical marijuana industry has really taken off since its inception just over two years ago. Already, the state has the highest amount of MMJ card-holders per capita in the nation, as well as more dispensaries than any other state.
Oklahoma medical marijuana laws are less restrictive than those in other states. This is one of the main reasons why the industry has grown so rapidly in OK. A lot of people qualify for medical marijuana treatment in Oklahoma, and the MMJ industry is boosting the Oklahoma economy and creating a lot of employment opportunities.
But since medical marijuana was made legal in Oklahoma in 2018, the OK MMJ laws have been tweaked and fine-tuned. This has resulted in a slightly more restrictive set of rules, as well as quite a bit of confusion amongst MMJ patients in Oklahoma. One of the main areas of confusion is around MMJ and employee rights. So, can you be fired for being an Oklahoma MMJ card holder?
Oklahoma’s Medical Marijuana Laws
Oklahoma is a state with a strong historical ethos of valuing freedom and small government. Oklahomans believe in personal liberty and personal responsibility. Big government and restrictive, red tape-laden legislation tend to be unpopular in OK.
So, unsurprisingly, Oklahoma medical marijuana laws are some of the simplest and least restrictive in America. More than in any other state, the OK MMJ industry has been allowed to operate and innovate without being hobbled by government interference.
However, Oklahoma MMJ laws became slightly more restrictive with the passing of the Unity Bill in March 2019. The Unity Bill added several details and caveats to Oklahoma’s medical marijuana laws. One of the main features of the Unity Bill is its outlining of the rights and responsibilities of employers regarding their employees’ medical marijuana use.
Can You Get Fired For Having An MMJ Card In Oklahoma?
Under Oklahoma medical marijuana law, you can be fired for medical marijuana usage under certain circumstances. The Unity Bill enables employers to decide whether or not to allow a person who uses medical marijuana to work in their business, and also whether to hire them or not in the first place.
Oklahoma Safety Sensitive Jobs are a category of jobs that are illegal to do under the influence of medical marijuana. Some employers will allow employees who do Safety Sensitive Jobs to hold an MMJ card and to dose when they are not at work. Other employers will not allow employees who do Safety Sensitive Jobs to even hold an MMJ card.
What Are Safety Sensitive Jobs In Oklahoma?
Safety Sensitive Jobs are jobs that “could affect the safety and health of the employee … or others.”
Safety Sensitive Jobs include:
- Dispensing pharmaceuticals.
- Maintaining, repairing, or operating heavy equipment, or manufacturing processes.
- Operating heavy machinery, a vehicle, or power tools.
- Providing direct patient or child care services.
- Jobs that involve carrying firearms.
- Working with flammable, hazardous, or volatile materials.
What Is The Oklahoma Standards For Workplace Drug And Alcohol Testing Act?
The Oklahoma Standards For Workplace Drug And Alcohol Testing Act regulates drug and alcohol testing in the workplace in OK.
Marijuana usage is still illegal under federal law, so an Oklahoma employer is entitled to test employees for MMJ and take whatever action they choose based on the test results. This will not include federal prosecution, but it could involve being fired.
Does Having An Oklahoma MMJ Card Show Up On A Background Check?
Most background checks will not disclose that you hold an MMJ card. As a part of your personal health information, your MMJ status is protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPPA does not allow protected medical information to show up on background checks.
Can You Dose With MMJ While Working In Oklahoma?
You cannot dose with MMJ while working at a Safety Sensitive Job in Oklahoma. However, if your job is not a Safety Sensitive Job, your employer may allow you to dose with MMJ while working. Whether or not you can dose at work is at the discretion of your employer.
How Do You Apply For An MMJ Card In Oklahoma?
To apply for a medical marijuana card in Oklahoma, arrange a telemedicine consultation with an MMJ doctor via MMJRecs. This online consultation is quick and easy, and once your suitability as an MMJ patient has been verified, you will receive a legal qualification via email and an official embossed recommendation letter by mail.
Featured image by Morning Brew on Unsplash