Medical marijuana is becoming increasingly more accepted as it is being legalized across the United States. While medical marijuana has been legal in Ohio since 2016, the first dispensaries opened in January this year.
For some, it still remains uncertain if a medical marijuana prescription could affect an individual’s potential job opportunities.
Your Privacy and Medical Records
If you have a prescription for medical marijuana or are looking to obtain one, you're likely wondering whether or not this prescription will show up on background checks.
Your medical records are protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which was put in place as a way to protect patients' privacy and to prevent workforce discrimination against those with medical conditions.
Employers and Medical Marijuana
Under HIPAA, employers cannot access medical marijuana records if they run a background check. However, Ohio employers still have the right to enforce a zero-tolerance drug policy at work. This means an individual cannot smoke on the premises or show up for work under the influence.
Federal laws differ from states laws, and marijuana use still remains illegal under federal law. Because of this, employees who are employed by the federal government will be held to federal regulations. This means that a medical marijuana prescription may show up on background checks if your employer requests it. Other jobs, such as those in the healthcare and childcare fields, can also request your medical records.
Understanding State Laws vs Federal Laws
Even if your medical marijuana prescription doesn't appear as part of a background check, you should still exercise caution in regards to marijuana in the workplace. Remember, if you work for the federal government or in healthcare or childcare, you may find yourself in violation of federal laws regarding the use of cannabis.
If you are involved in any legal issues surrounding medical marijuana, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney now. The attorneys at The Meranda Law Firm have over 15 years of experience defending the rights of Ohio residents. Our attorneys will evaluate the situation, give you advice moving forward, and if necessary, help you build a defense for your case regarding your medical marijuana use.