On March 26, 2021, the ACLU-NH and the Disability Rights Center of New Hampshire filed a "friend of the court" brief at the New Hampshire Supreme Court in Paine v. Ride-Away, Inc.  In this case, the plaintiff suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, and is enrolled in the state’s Therapeutic Cannabis Program to treat his PTSD. He requested a reasonable accommodation to be able to use cannabis off company premises and while not at work. The superior court -- without engaging in the standard fact-intensive analysis typically governing reasonable-accommodation cases -- dismissed his lawsuit because, it concluded, that the law does not require a company to ever accommodate therapeutic cannabis use. Our brief explains that the trial court interpreted the relevant statutes incorrectly, and wrongly considered the federal Controlled Substances Act in reaching its conclusion. We also point out to the Supreme Court that over ten thousand people in New Hampshire are enrolled in the Therapeutic Cannabis Program for a variety of qualifying medical conditions, and that the trial court’s decision put them at increased risk of employment discrimination, even as people with disabilities face significant hurdles finding employment.

Attorney(s)

Gilles Bissonnette, ACLU-NH Legal Director, Henry Klementowicz, ACLU-NH Staff Attorney

Date filed

March 26, 2021

Court

New Hampshire Supreme Court

Status

Pending

Case number

2020-0470