WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – A government employee is suing Washington, D.C. to get her job back after she was told she can’t go back to work until she stops using medical marijuana.
Doretha Barber’s job for the Department of Public Works is classified as “safety sensitive” even though she doesn’t drive a vehicle or operate heavy equipment.
Instead, she works as a sanitation worker raking leaves in the fall and spreading salt on icy sidewalks in the winter.
Last year she told her supervisor she was legally using medical marijuana when she wasn’t at work for her extreme back pain and migraines.
Even though she never went to work under the influence, she says she was told she couldn’t go back to work until she not only stopped using medical pot but could pass a drug test.
She says she was also told to get drug abuse counseling.
Barber, with the help of the ACLU of D.C., is suing to be allowed to go back to work and use medical marijuana in her off time.
She wants the district to treat medical marijuana just like any prescribed medication.
Barber stated, “I don’t have a substance abuse problem and it made me feel like they were putting me in a category that I don’t belong in.”
Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said, “There are some jobs that will fit in that safety sensitive requirement.”