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Disabled veteran gets job, unable to work due to medical marijuana prescription

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BATON ROUGE- Darius Credit served our country for nearly two decades before he was injured in the Middle East and returned home.

"I was injured in Kuwait in a rollover incident where I injured my neck and back," Credit said.

That injury led to his retirement from the military, and Credit was left with what he said is a severe case of PTSD.

"I've had nightmares, trouble sleeping, anxiety and stuff like that," Credit said.

In 2016, lawmakers passed measures legalizing medical marijuana in Louisiana. Last year, Credit's doctors decided to give it a try to see if it would ease the effects of his PTSD. It worked. He is now sleeping through the night.

A rare opportunity presented itself recently where Credit said he jumped at the chance to help people.

"I applied for the job with the workforce commission in the reentry division," Credit said. "I have worked for the state department of corrections for... years, so I'm highly qualified in that area. I would have been assisting offenders released from incarceration."

Credit received an offer letter showing he'd be a full-time employee making $24.50 per hour. The letter was signed and dated July 24, 2020. But, as the ink was barely dry on the offer, a new challenge presented itself.

"I get a text saying what happened," Credit recalled. "I'm wondering what happened also."

The owner of a drug screen company said if someone is prescribed medical marijuana, their drug test will reflect that they are positive for marijuana. With Credit's valid prescription for marijuana, questions are being raised about why the state's hiring policies don't match state law.

"I am on the side of right," Credit said. "I am not an illegal drug user, never been. It's just not fair."

Credit tested positive for marijuana and presented the state with documentation from a doctor showing he has a valid prescription. Despite having those records, Credit might not get to do the job he was offered.

"I really want this job, and we need to get this right because there are a lot of people depending on this program," Credit said. "If we designed this program to help people, why was the patient not thought of when it comes to this part of the process."

We reached out to the Louisiana Workforce Commission about this story.

Executive Counsel, Meridith Trahant issued the following statement.

"Our Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) policies and procedures comply with all state, civil service and federal laws. Due to the confidential nature of personnel matters, LWC cannot comment on specific personnel issues."

We asked if that means that a person can work for LWC if they test positive for marijuana and have a valid prescription. We did not hear back.

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