Despite getting authorization from a doctor to use medical marijuana, it was not enough to secure one man’s job in Florida.
A Florida city has fired an employee over legal medical marijuana use despite the employee using it legally for medical reasons.
West Palm Beach fired computer manager Jason McCarty, its deputy chief of information technology, after a urine test found marijuana in his system.
50-year old McCarty had told them before the test that they would find it in his system. He has a medical marijuana card that allows him to legally purchase pot from a dispensary.
Prior to the urine test he had smoked a joint the night before to relieve anxiety and insomnia caused by his mother’s serious illness, said the Palm Beach Post.
Two of the city’s employees from the risk management department had reported McCarty after claiming to smell marijuana near his car and seeing him act suspicious as he walked past them.
McCarty has had his job for five years and had a spotless record, but unfortunately West Palm Beach has a strict policy against marijuana use. Even when used legally and outside working hours.
Five other co-workers submitted affidavits saying they had never seen McCarty under the influence.
“I just think it’s outrageous, insulting,” said McCarty’s attorney, Russell Cormican Jr.
“There’s this perception around the country that people don’t get screwed over by marijuana laws anymore. People’s lives can get turned around over this. It’s really wrong.”
According to city spokeswoman Kathleen Walter, who spoke to The Post, the policy is meant to protect its workers and the public.
If the city allowed employees to smoke marijuana, that could endanger federal grants and contracts.
The company’s employee policy also says any employee who reasonably suspects a co-worker of illegal drug use and doesn’t report it can be fired.
McCarty has not decided whether he will sue the city. “He’s not trying to be a medical marijuana martyr,” Cormican said. “He just wants a job.”