New Jersey’s Supreme Court announced Tuesday it will consider whether or not a Ridgewood funeral home discriminated against one of its employees in 2016 for using medical cannabis.
In Wild v. Carriage Funeral Holdings, plaintiff Justin Wild alleged that his employer fired him after he tested positive for cannabis when drug tested following a car accident.
Wild, a cancer patient, was prescribed cannabis as part of his treatment. The case raises the question of whether or not an employer must accommodate medical cannabis use under New Jersey’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.
A trial judge ruled that Wild’s suit couldn’t go forward because CUMMA doesn’t require an employer to accommodate the use of medical cannabis, but when Wild appealed earlier this year, a panel of judges disagreed.
“[W]e reject the essential holding that brings this matter here and conclude that the Compassionate Use Act’s refusal to require an employment accommodation for a user does not mean that the Compassionate Use Act has immunized employers from obligations already imposed elsewhere,” Judge Clarkson Fisher Jr. wrote. “It would be ironic indeed if the Compassionate Use Act limited the Law Against Discrimination to permit an employer’s termination of a cancer patient’s employment by discriminating without compassion. We reverse.”
Judges Richard Hoffman and Karen Suter were also on the panel.
Neither Jamison Mark of The Mark Law Firm in Basking Ridge, who represents Wild, nor Steven Luckner of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart in Morristown, who represents the funeral home, were available for comment by press time.