State Supreme Court To Review Firing Of Medical Marijuana Patient


Graphic: Fox 5

​The Washington Supreme Court has agreed to review a case in which an employee was fired solely for her lawful use, at home, of doctor-recommended marijuana for medicinal purposes.

The case arose from the 2006 firing of authorized medical marijuana patient Jane Roe (who is using a pseudonym to protect her identity) from a company called TeleTech Customer Care Management. Roe was hired by TeleTech to be a customer service consultant, which required answering phones and responding to emails.
Roe informed TeleTech about her medical use of marijuana during the hiring process, providing the company with a copy of her physician’s authorization.
However, when Roe’s pre-employment drug screen tested positive for THC, an active ingredient of marijuana, she was fired.

Roe had worked at TeleTech for more than a week without issue. Roe filed suit in Kitsap County in 2007.
A 2009 Court of Appeals decision in the case (Roe v. TeleTech) had held that Washington’s medical marijuana law only protects someone from criminal prosecution and provides no protection in employment situations.

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Photo: ACLU-WA
Alison Holcomb, ACLU: “It is important that employers respect the private medical choices employees make in consultation with their physicians”

​The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington had filed an amicus memorandum urging the court to review the case in order to ensure that the rights of individuals under the state’s medical marijuana law are adequately protected.
“It is important that employers respect the private medical choices employees make in consultation with their physicians,” said Alison Holcomb, ACLU of Washington drug policy director.
Washington’s Medical Use of Marijuana Act was passed by voters in 1998 to enable individuals suffering from specified medical conditions to use marijuana with the recommendation of their physician.
Jane Roe is represented by Michael Subit of Frank, Freed, Subit & Thomas, LLP. The ACLU of Washington‘s friend-of-the-court memorandum was written by Drug Policy Director Alison Holcomb and Policy Advocate Mark Cooke.