Buffalo, New York - Scott Martin, a firefighter in the City of Buffalo, was fired after failing a drug test due to his lawful use of medical cannabis. After filing a lawsuit against the City of Buffalo and the Buffalo Fire Department, alleging discrimination and violation of his rights as a medical marijuana patient under New York’s Compassionate Care Act (CCA), the parties have reached an agreement that will allow Martin to return to his job. Under the terms of the settlement, the City of Buffalo and its fire department will recognize Martin’s status as a medical marijuana patient and reimburse him for lost wages. The settlement also serves as a model for other cities and towns across New York State and may set a precedent for similar disputes between employers and employees in other states where medical cannabis is legal.
David C. Holland, an attorney representing Martin and the legal director of Empire State NORML - said that "The settlement demonstrates the importance of protecting the rights of medical marijuana patients from inappropriate disciplinary action, even when those patients are subject to drug testing protocol. It is a victory that shows how far we have come in terms of recognizing and respecting the legitimate therapeutic use of medical cannabis. It is a reminder to employers, unions, and cities across the country that marijuana patients are entitled to the same rights and protections as other citizens."
Holland went on to say "Martin’s courage in standing up for his rights has opened the door for other medical marijuana patients seeking justice in their own workplace battles."
This case is an example of the growing acceptance and recognition of medical cannabis, as well as the progress that has been made in recent years toward protecting and respecting the rights of marijuana patients. With the help of organizations like Empire State NORML, more and more people are becoming aware of their legal rights when it comes to using medical cannabis.