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Marinol. And employment drug testing?

Oct 29, 2012

I have a prescription fo marinol. I just got fired from work for a + drug test. I did not get a chance to shop my meds + all the HIV meds what can I do. Please help fast. I can't loose my job

Response from Ms. Douaihy

Dear Writer,

Thank you for writing with this important question. I am very sorry to hear that you were fired from your job due to a positive drug test. It sounds like your prescription medication, Marinol, contributed to the positive result.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Marinol is a brand name of Dronabinol which is in a class of medications called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are compounds derived from the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa). These medications work by affecting the area of the brain that controls nausea, vomiting, and appetite. This drug is used, among other things, to treat loss of appetite and weight loss in people who have acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). So in your case, it sounds like the Marinol in your system materially affected the marijuana test.

Importantly, I do not believe you should be terminated from your employment. Based on your recitation of the facts, you were not abusing illegal drugs; you are instead prescribed a lawful medication that is essential to your well being. I would advise you to retain an attorney immediately to advocate on your behalf. You should outreach to a local HIV/AIDS services organization to learn if any low-cost or free civil attorneys are available in your area. To find available service providers, please check out the US Government's HIV/AIDS service locator, linked below.

If, for some reason, you cannot find an available attorney, you should ask your physician to contact your employer and explain your situation. Your physician should also demand that a confirmatory drug test be administered. Your physician will need to explain that one of your "medically necessary" prescriptions contains a cannabis derivative. Your physician need not initially disclose the specific fact of your illness. However the name of your prescription will have to be shared as your physician will need to verify your medical use of Marinol.

As a person living with HIV/AIDS you are protected from discrimination due to your disability. So if advocacy efforts fail to win your job back, I would absolutely consider filing a complaint with your local or state Human Rights Commission. If you are able to secure the help of an attorney, she or he can outline your rights and remedies with respect to employment.

I wish you all the best.

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