Can You Be Sacked for Using Medical Marijuana in Australia? | Leafly
Monday, Oct 24, 2016

One August afternoon in 2013, ferry master Christopher Toms piloted a ferry into Cabarita Wharf in Sydney, Australia, colliding with one of the structure’s metal piles. No one was seriously injured, but later that day his employer, which had a zero-tolerance drug policy in place, asked him to take a urine test. The results showed the presence of cannabis, and he was fired.

Toms, who said he’d used cannabis the night before to relieve shoulder pain, filed an administrative challenge. He managed to win his job back, but a federal court later reversed the decision and he was again terminated, this time for good.

Did the cannabis from the day before have an impact on his ferry piloting? Would it have mattered if he had a prescription for it? And if Toms wasn’t impaired at the time, how much control should his employer have over what he does outside work, anyway? These questions weren’t answered in the course of his case, but they’re increasingly being asked by both patients and employers as medical cannabis moves forward in Australia.

“Cannabis can linger in the system for a long time after use, much longer than most other substances.” Danny King, employment lawyer What Will Happen to Office Drug Testing Post-Legalization? Cannabis Attorneys Weigh In