102 Iowa L. Rev. 259 (2016)
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There are 25 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized medical marijuana, but the federal government still lists the drug as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act. This conflict between state and federal law raises significant liability issues for employers whose employees obtain a medical marijuana prescription. Although state and federal courts have traditionally permitted employers to terminate employees for medical marijuana use, and did not require employers to pay for medical marijuana through workers’ compensation or private health insurance plans, some recent cases suggest a trend in the opposite direction. This Note explores employer medical marijuana liability concerns, and argues for an amendment to the Controlled Substances Act that either: (1) reclassifies marijuana as Schedule II or lower; or (2) exempts medical marijuana states, combined with state-level legislation providing explicit accommodation exemptions for employers, or a federal liability shield modeled after the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, to give employers protection while respecting the medical needs of their employees.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016