NJ’s medical marijuana patients in danger of losing jobs

 Ken Wolski of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey listens as Charles Kwiatkowski, right, of Hazlet, N.J., who suffers from multiple sclerosis, describes his need for medical marijuana in 2010. (Mel Evans/AP Photo)

Ken Wolski of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey listens as Charles Kwiatkowski, right, of Hazlet, N.J., who suffers from multiple sclerosis, describes his need for medical marijuana in 2010. (Mel Evans/AP Photo)

Colorado’s Supreme Court has decided that workers who use marijuana for medical reasons can be fired.

Patients in New Jersey’s medical marijuana program are also at risk of losing their jobs.

Ken Wolski, who leads the Coalition for Medical Marijuana in New Jersey, said Colorado’s decision is consistent with court rulings in other states holding that medical marijuana users can be fired for using the drug when they’re off the job. That’s not fair, said Wolski.

“The use of medical marijuana often allows people to function properly and to go out and be a productive member of society,” Wolski said. “Yet, here, once you take the medicine that allows you to be a productive member of society, society is saying, ‘No, if you use that medicine you’re going to lose your job and you’ll have to go back on welfare.'”

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, also a municipal prosecutor, said it’s rare for employers in New Jersey to fire a medical marijuana user but it does happen.

“I think most employers would understand if somebody has cancer or AIDS or multiple sclerosis that they would overlook the fact that they’re taking medical marijuana,” he said. “It would just affect a minimum of people that are in security clearance jobs.”

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