Because of the protections against employment discrimination incorporated in the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA), Arizona finds itself in the extremely unusual position of being more liberal in one area of workplace rights of employees than its western neighbor, California, the Golden State.
California is indeed generally pretty golden for employees, having some of the most generous laws on wages, hours, and benefits in the country. While California was the first state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, the ballot measure says nothing about whether employers have to tolerate legal marijuana use among their workers. California courts have not found employment protections inherent in the law permitting the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
I’m adding California Labor & Employment Law Blog (http://www.callaborlaw.com/) to the Arizoneout blog roll, because they are doing a good job of covering the efforts to get the same kind of protection for California’s legal medical marijuana users as already exists for their counterparts in Arizona. Examples are posts earlier this year when legislation was introduced (but has not advanced) to adopt Arizona-like employee protections, and in 2008 when then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill.