A legal precedent could be set stemming from a 23-year-old medical marijuana user being told by security at the Revel casino hotel he could not take his prescribed marijuana on the property.
Daniel Price, 23, of Atlantic City, has hired an attorney and is seeking a clarification on whether the casino must accommodate his medical need.
Price, who is a medical marijuana cardholder, said he was told he could not take marijuana in the casino by a security guard and was directed to the Boardwalk in late April. Price is prescribed marijuana to treat both seizures and irritable bowel disease.
“I asked the security guard. I did not state whether I’d smoke it, ingest it, what form of it I’d be using,” Price told the Press of Atlantic City. “I feel I should be accommodated.”
Price has hired attorney Michelle Douglass to represent him in what could be a precedent setting case on whether medical marijuana patients must be accommodated by private businesses.
“Our position is that they are required to provide people with disabilities an accommodation,” Douglass told the Press. “It is legal. He is legally permitted to use medical marijuana.”
No lawsuit has been filed, however. Price hired Douglass after being directed to New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, which then directed Price to Atlantic City’s Health and Human Services Department.
But after meeting with city officials, Price was told that the city does not have jurisdiction. Douglass told the paper the next step may be asking New Jersey Superior Court to make a determination.
Guidelines issued by the state for medical marijuana users encourage patients to only use the substance in their residences and only transport the substance when absolutely necessary. However, there are no specific prohibitions against using the substance outside of their homes or transporting it.
There are, however, some restrictions against using medical marijuana in certain places, such as on a school bus, on public transportation or in a private vehicle in operation. Patients also cannot smoke on school grounds, at any correctional facility, in a public park, on the beach, at a recreation center, or at any other place where smoking is prohibited, according to the Press.
DGE spokeswoman Kerry Langan told the paper that the division received a complaint on the issue but said businesses are not required to accommodate medical marijuana users under the Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act.
“The division is reaching out to the industry to advise the casinos to develop their own policies regarding use of medical marijuana within the casino hotel premises,” Langan said. “A clear policy will help avoid confusion as well as customer inconvenience and dissatisfaction.”