Governor Dannel Malloy has signed a bill into law that permits licensed physicians to prescribe medical marijuana to eligible adult patients. The law goes into effect October 1, 2012.
The new state law, An Act Concerning the Palliative Use of Marijuana (Public Act No. 12-55), permits the use of prescribed medical marijuana to alleviate symptoms of a debilitating medical condition.
Debilitating medical conditions include, but are not limited to, cancer, glaucoma, HIV, and Parkinson’s disease. The law also permits the use of medical marijuana for any medical condition, medical treatment or disease approved by the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP).
Under the state law, eligible patients will not be subject to arrest or prosecution by Connecticut authorities, or adverse employment action by employers in the state. Eligible physicians and primary caregivers are also protected.
To ensure that medical marijuana is not abused, several provisions are in place. For example, patients must have both a physician’s recommendation and a registration form the DCP, which is shared with law enforcement.
What employers need to know. Under the law, employers cannot refuse to hire a person, discharge, penalize, or threaten an employee solely on the basis of such person’s or employee’s status as a qualifying patient or primary caregiver of medical marijuana.
“Employer” includes anyone engaged in business that has one or more employees, including the state and any political subdivision of the state.
However, nothing in the law restricts an employer’s ability to prohibit the use of intoxicating substances during work hours or restrict an employer’s ability to discipline an employee for being under the influence of intoxicating substances during work hours.
Under federal law, the use of marijuana for medical purposes is still illegal.
Visit www.cga.ct.gov for more information.