Can I Lose My Professional License For Using Marijuana in California?

Recreational marijuana use has been legal in California for a few years now. With marijuana shops seemingly popping up everywhere, you may have thought of giving cannabis a try. If you’re a licensed professional, you might want to think twice. Unlock Legal, an Orange County-based professional license defense firm, wants you to know that recreational marijuana use can still put your occupational license in jeopardy.

Isn’t Recreational Marijuana Use Legal Now?

Yes. California voters legalized recreational use of marijuana in 2016, and shops that sell marijuana for recreational use began legally operating 2018. Since then, people 21 years old or older have been allowed to possess a small amount of cannabis or grow it on their own.

Why Can My License Be Suspended?

Just because marijuana has been legalized for recreational use doesn’t mean you can’t lose your job for using cannabis. In California, employers are still allowed to ban the use of the drug as a term of employment and can fire you if you fail a drug test. For professionals in the medical field, like nurses and doctors, a failed drug test can mean the end of your job at your office or hospital, depending on your employer’s policies.

Like alcohol, simply using marijuana recreationally is not necessarily grounds to revoke your license in California. But your license can be suspended or sanctioned in certain circumstances, including if:

  • Your marijuana use rises to the level of abuse and interferes with your work performance
  • You’re arrested for DUI after using marijuana
  • You’re arrested for a marijuana-related crime such as selling marijuana to a minor or possessing cannabis in large quantities

What Should I Do?

If your occupational license has come under scrutiny from your licensing board for a marijuana-related violation, the first thing you should do is contact a professional license attorney. Miranda McCroskey, the head attorney and founder of Unlock Legal, a professional license defense firm in Orange County, California, has experience defending professional licenses before a variety of licensing boards, including the Board of Registered Nursing, the Department of Real Estate, and the Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Don’t deal with the stress of defending your license. Let the Unlock Legal team help you defend your career. Email us today or give us a call at (833) 865-6253.

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