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Abstract

Many states have chosen to legalize medical marijuana despite the fact that marijuana remains classified as an illegal substance federally. Of the states that have legalized medical marijuana, about half have extended “anti-discrimination” protections to workers who are prescribed medical marijuana and who use it outside of the workplace. In New Mexico, such protections do not yet exist. Thus, there is no clear answer about whether an employer has a duty to accommodate a worker’s medical marijuana use under the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act and the New Mexico Human Rights Act. This article argues that after analyzing the plain language of each Act, various cases from the New Mexico Court of Appeals, and the approaches of states like Arizona, Minnesota, and New York, an employer likely does have a duty to accommodate an employee’s medical marijuana use.

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