Arizona nurse fired for being a medical marijuana patient

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State laws are supposed to protect medical marijuana patients from termination

Arizona sure seems eager to defend its reputation as a state prone to controversial legal decisions.

Registered nurse and Arizona resident Esther Shapiro has filed a wrongful termination suit against the Verde Valley Community Hospice, after she was fired on the grounds that she is a medical-marijuana patient. Shapiro recently moved from Colorado, where she originally acquired her medical-marijuana license after being the victim of a hit and run in 1988. Upon arriving in Arizona, she once again qualified for treatment. 

After arriving at Verde Valley, Shapiro was then subject to a drug screening. After disclosing that the test would come out positive due to her marijuana treatment, Shapiro said her supervisor became uncomfortable. She claims she was terminated because Verde Valley talked with its car-insurance provider and was told that she would be too much of a liability, despite the fact that employees drive their own cars and carry their own car insurance.

As for Esther losing her job, the Hospice claims that she herself quit (or "abandoned") the position shortly after they discovered she was on medical marijuana. If they did indeed fire her, they would be in violation of statutes that protect medical-marijuana patients from termination. Considering that this is the first time Arizona's marijuana laws have been put to this kind of test, it's hard to determine what's next.

The moral of the story? Stay in Colorado. I hear Denver is lovely.