As of earlier this year, the official count of registered medical marijuana users exceeded 1.1 million. That figure could easily exceed 2.5 million if marijuana were legal for medicinal purposes in all 50 states plus D.C., as there are an average of 7.7 patients for every 1,000 population right now.
But these revelations are fairly new. In fact, marijuana has only been legal as medicine for two decades. It remains illegal under federal law, and it's still considered a Schedule I narcotic - the most dangerous level of the drug.
While it's true many of these patients are quite sick and may be unable to work full-time, many function just fine in their occupational roles, and their use of marijuana has no bearing on the job. Of course, just as with any controlled substance, many recognize that being under the influence of a drug - prescription or otherwise - at work can be, at minimum, a productivity issue and at worst, a safety issue.