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Misguided, Legal


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Ross had proof his drug use was legal. He had a medical marijuana card authorizing him to use the drug for treatment of pain from a back injury sustained while serving in the Air Force. Despite his condition and his card - and despite an injury sustained while serving his country - the California Supreme Court last week upheld the decision to fire him.

Marijuana arguably is a great drug for pain relief, and for some it's safer and less mentally and physically draining than harsher painkillers such as Vicodin and Percocet, commonly prescribed by doctors and dentists and seldom the topic of employee/employer disputes.

The company Ross worked for - Ragingwire Inc. - argued federal law does not recognize marijuana deregulation in California and 11 other states. The U.S. Supreme Court declared in 2005 that state medicinal marijuana laws don't protect users from prosecution.

It's unfortunate the company based its case on a bad ruling. The federal government has no business usurping state laws that allow residents to use marijuana. If voters in a state are on board with medicinal marijuana use, what gives the central government a right to oppose them? Only bizarre and habitual abuse of the interstate commerce clause. The U.S. Supreme Court's disrespect for state marijuana laws nearly eliminates any pretense that we're a nation of independent states.

But, private companies have the right to reject it. Companies have rights to set standards for employees, some of which others may disagree with. ( Something for those opposing residency requirements in Lima to consider. ) The right of companies to determine which qualities are best and worst in their employees must be maintained in the interest of free and competitive enterprise. The voluntary relationship between an employee and an employer is respected in the First Amendment, which the courts have interpreted as a restriction on governments to interfere with free association among adults. The right to freely associate demands the right to freely dissociate, which requires the right to hire and fire at will.

It's unfortunate that Ragingwire fired Ross for treating his pain. But the decision belonged to Ragingwire. Good decision? Maybe not. Legal decision? Absolutely.

Source: Lima News (OH)
Copyright: 2008 Freedom Newspaper Inc
Contact: letters@limanews.com
Website: LimaOhio.com
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