A federal judge has ruled that the government is able to fire employees who test positive for cannabis — even if it was consumed on accident — according to a Government Executive report.
The ruling was sparked by the trial of Jeffrey Hansen, an information technology specialist working with Customs and Border Protection. Hansen tested positive for cannabis during a random drug screening and was removed from his position. While he did not contest the results of the drug test, he did claim that someone at a barbeque had given him a cannabis-infused brownie as a prank and hadn’t told him it was an infused edible. Claiming a lack of evidence, however, the Customs and Border Patrol official in charge of the issue decided to remove Hansen anyway.
Hansen appealed the decision but a panel of judges, after hearing testimony, decided that Hansen’s intentions didn’t matter.
The court issued its decision with the proclamation that the ruling was precedent-setting. This means that all future cases heard on the matter will now start with the understanding that intent does not matter with regard to cannabis consumption and that any positive test, due to several guidances set by officials from both the Reagan and Obama presidential administrations, is grounds for firing.
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