TAMPA (FOX 13) - In November, 71-percent of Florida voters approved Amendment 2. Today, more than 18,000 of them carry a medical marijuana card, allowing them to legally purchase and consume cannabis. But perhaps what it doesn't do is just as important.
”If you get tested positive for THC in your system, you may lose your job and it’s not fair to the people that have voted to use this as medicine,” said Thomas Quigley, a medical marijuana user and advocate.
Essentially, even legal card holders aren't immune from termination by their employer for a failed test. That's largely because marijuana is still considered an illegal drug on the federal level.
Several states do have protections in place for patients, but not Florida.
“You could take 10 or 12 Percocet in a day and show up to work the next day and nothing’s wrong, but if they consume a little bit of cannabis the night before and test positive, they could lose their job,” Quigley continued.
Marijuana can stay in your system for days, even weeks.
“To me, it’s a travesty. It’s not what 71 percent of these people in the state of Florida voted on,” said Michael Mindardi, an attorney and the chairman of Regulate Florida. "There is a question of whether or not these employers can be sued as a result of firing people for using cannabis."
But should it even have to go that far?
”This isn't fair. This isn't what we voted on. We want it changed,” he said.
FOX 13 reached out to the state Department of Health for an explanation and to ask about protections. This is that response:
“On Friday, Governor Scott signed Senate Bill 8A, which provides a framework for patients to access medical marijuana safely. The department is working diligently to quickly implement the time-sensitive requirements of the legislation. Following emergency rulemaking, the department is committed to working collaboratively with the public through traditional rulemaking to establish a patient-centered medical marijuana program.”