Though Washington’s Medical Use of Marijuana Act (MUMA, chapter 69.51A RCW) may excuse a marijuana user from criminal prosecution, it will not give rise to a suit for wrongful termination. In Roe, the applicant received a conditional offer of employment, but failed a pre-employment drug screen. The employer revoked her offer and Roe sued for wrongful termination in violation. The court rejected her arguments that 1) MUMA created a private right of action providing her with a civil remedy and 2) MUMA expressed a public policy against which the normal rule of at-will employment did not apply.
From a strictly doctrinal perspective, the analysis in Roe holds up just fine, but pragmatically the opinion leaves a lot to be desired. I suppose it’s the larger social issue of whether employers have the right to discharge individuals for otherwise private conduct outside of the workplace that has little to do with the performance of the job itself that has me bothered, but I wonder whether opinions like these will one day be viewed as those myriad Lochner era primacy of contract cases are now viewed.