The following first appeared in Cannabis Now:
A graduate student in Rhode Island is taking matters into her own hands after being denied consideration for an internship at a fabric company due to her use of cannabis as a medical treatment for her frequent migraines.
Christine Callagan has sought legal assistance from the American Civil Liberties Union and has filed a lawsuit against Darlington Fabrics Corp, a textile company located in the city of Westerly. According to reports, the company refused to give her a position as a summer intern after she disclosed that she was a legal medical marijuana patient. Following an interview that otherwise indicated that she had snagged the position, employees from the corporation called to inform her that couldn’t work there due to her use of cannabis.
In the court filing, the lawsuit says Darlington’s failure to hire Callagan based on her medical condition was a direct violation of state law that protects qualified medical marijuana patients from employment discrimination. She is seeking for unspecified damages and legal fees.
“People with disabilities simply cannot be denied equal employment opportunities on the basis of the type of medication required to treat their particular condition,” Callagan said.
Rhode Island legalized medical marijuana in 2006 but this may be the first case of its kind in the state. Despite medical marijuana being legal in a number of states, there are still many hoops that must be jumped through and even more hurdles to overcome for people who use cannabis to treat their ailments. Even though they have gone through all the steps to legally qualify as a patient including getting written permission from a doctor and registering with the state, many patients still face discrimination.