Rules for medical marijuana use among city, county employees unclear

Video: Rules for medical marijuana use among city, county employees unclear

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Gov. Rick Scott signed medical marijuana into law last week, and now cities and counties will have to decide what that means for employees on and off the job.

Groups in favor of the legalization say first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder or on-the-job injuries should not use it at work, but shouldn't be denied the relief provided by marijuana while off the clock.

Cities and counties have not drafted policies for employees with medical marijuana prescriptions.

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Other states that have tackled the issue are split on whether cops, firefighters and EMTs can use medical-marijuana.

Private companies can make rules on employees using medical marijuana on the job.

Mason Tvert from the Marijuana Policy Project, a group that fights for marijuana legalization, said marijuana should be treated on the job like any other drug given by a doctor.

“If we can have rules and laws surrounding these prescription medications, then there is no reason marijuana should be treated any more restrictively,” said Tvert. “That's all it comes down to. There is no other conversation to have.”

But when it comes to first responders it’s not that easy.

In Illinois, employees of specific occupations, including first responders, are not allowed to use marijuana for medical purposes.

Arizona, meanwhile, has not had clear-cut laws for years.

Some departments there allowed use off duty, while others referred to federal laws that say marijuana is an illegal substance.

Orange County has not made a decision yet, but a moratorium is in place until November.