Republic article focuses on RLG client, in settlement relating to an employment dispute from a Medical Marijuana Card Holder

Arizona has some of the strongest protections for patients, said Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies at the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C.

By Yvonne Wingett Sanchez

The Arizona Republic

Just days into her new job at a hospice in Cottonwood, Esther Shapiro claims she was fired because she uses medical marijuana to relieve chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia. (Rose Law Group

Rep. Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix, authored a bill that would give employers the right to reassign or put on leave someone using legal or illegal drugs and who works in a “safety-sensitive” position.

represented Shapiro in her claim and settlement against her employer.)

The Arizona Department of Health Services allows employers and law enforcement to check medical-marijuana cardholders. Find a complete list of employers who have accessed the state database at by going to

The hospice sent her for a drug test, and she warned them it would come back positive. Shapiro said the next day, a nurse manager told her the hospice’s insurance company thought she was too much of a liability.

“It was, basically, in my opinion, crap,” Shapiro told The Arizona Republic. “I was fired unlawfully.”

Across Arizona, employers and workers are settling into an uneasy relationship with medical marijuana. While a 2010 voter-approved law forbids employers from discriminating against medical-marijuana patients, the law provides no protection for employees who are impaired at work.

And a 2011 law gave some businesses additional authority to penalize workers if they are believed to be impaired at work.

Still, employers across Arizona are grappling with how to handle workers who are now legally permitted to use marijuana.



Lottery does little to clear air on pot sites/The Arizona Republic

If interested in discussing employment law matters, you can contact David Weissman, director of RLG’s Employment Law Department,

If interested in discussing medical marijuana, you can contact Co-chair of the RLG Medical Marijuana Department Ryan Hurley,

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Rose Law Group pc values “outrageous client service.” We pride ourselves on hyper-responsiveness to our clients’ needs and an extraordinary record of success in achieving our clients’ goals. We know we get results and our list of outstanding clients speaks to the quality of our work.

August 2012