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Can I be fired from my federal employment for using medical marijuana?

San Francisco, CA |

I am a federal employee in a non drug testing position. Can I face any repercussions for attaining a medical card and using medical marijuana?

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Attorney answers 4


Of course you can. Federal law does not recognize medical marijuana use as an exception to the federal prohibition against marijuana possession, sales and use. Certainly you've read about the federal government's closures of dispensaries and even delivery services in California. *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***


Yes, you can be fired. California legislation has been in the works to protect individuals using medical marijuana for a qualified disability, but even if that legislation passed (which itself is highly questionable), there is a conflict between state and federal law with regard to whether marijuana is legal in the first place. Given that use of marijuana is against federal law and you are a federal employee, I don't see the analysis is being any more complicated than that.

I hope this helps.

This answer is a general interpretation of the law and is not fact specific to your case. Likewise it does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for a review of your specific facts and documents.


YES. The FEDS have all sorts of extra
employment restrictions than states
or private employers. HOW is the
"guberment" going to know . . .
you going to advertise it in a
newspaper? Do you have periodic
"testing?" You can take a chance
and get your MMC but remember
that if tested (or "snitched" on)
you COULD lose your position.




That is a good question: Does the Federal Government test you in a non-testing position? Certainly, I am not subject to regular testing but could I be randomly tested?

Marilynn Mika Spencer

Marilynn Mika Spencer


The federal government can and does test employees i non-testing jobs under certain circumstances. Generally, these include when there is an "articulable suspicion" (a concern that can be explained) by two or more supervisors; after certain types of accidents, and some other bases. I represent a lot of federal employees and can tell you the federal government is not lenient – not in the slightest – about drug use or positive tests, even false positives. Be very careful.


Yes it is against federal law, and even if it weren't, a CA employer can still prefer to have drug free employees. It's not a protected class.

The information contained in this email is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The transmission of the information contained in this email is not intended to create, and receipt of the information contained herein does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between the receiver and the Law Office of Jacob I. Kiani or Jacob I. Kiani, Esq. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case after a more thorough review of client documents and case facts, and laws are complex and constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel. By using the information contained in this email, you agree: (1) no attorney-client relationship is created between you and the Law Office of Jacob I. Kiani by your review or use of the information contained herein; (2) you understand that the information contained herein may not be exactly appropriate for your particular circumstances, and is offered for informational purposes only; (3) you understand that laws and the interpretations of them may have changed after this email was prepared; and (4) you can and should consult with an attorney before relying on any information contained herein.

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