• Myles Watson filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Friday
  • He requested an injunction against Transit officials, asking them to comply with the state's medical marijuana law
  • Watson claimed he was prohibited from using his prescribed medical marijuana 

A Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) employee has filed a lawsuit against the agency, claiming he faced discrimination at work over the legal use of medical marijuana.

The 44-year-old worker, Myles Watson, sued MTA for monetary damages in Brooklyn Supreme Court Friday, alleging he was demoted and forced to attend drug counseling four times a week after he had to use medical weed to treat his various health issues, Brooklyn Paper reported.

Watson, a master-certified fiber optic technician who previously worked as a telephone maintainer, was demoted as a station cleaner for the MTA after he was caught using drugs, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit claimed Watson "could work any role with his medical marijuana prescription as he would not use his medication while working," adding that there are "no lingering effects that would prevent him from performing the essential functions of his employment."

Although the medical and recreational use of marijuana is legal in New York City, Watson claimed he was prohibited from using even his prescribed medical marijuana and was even forced to attend mandatory drug testing three times a week.

Meanwhile, the seven-year MTA veteran has also requested an injunction against Transit officials, asking them to comply with the state's medical marijuana law.

Watson started using pot after being injured in a car crash in 2017. The officials learned about his weed usage during a drug test in March 2019, after which he was suspended and forced to go to rehab.

After a second car crash in December of that same year, Watson began using CBD, a chemical found in marijuana that is legal to sell and use. He was suspended again following the drug test in October 2020.

The MTA employee then got a legal marijuana card to treat newly diagnosed Crohn's disease, but the officials sent him back to rehab and counseling, the lawsuit claimed, as per the New York Post.

During the unpaid suspension period, Watson almost lost his house and had to give up his car and daughters' health insurance. "Myles Watson has suffered economic damages, pain and suffering and psychological injuries by reason of the discrimination, negligence, recklessness, carelessness and retaliation of NYC and NYCTA," the lawsuit read.

A Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) worker looks out for commuters before the train's departure at Grand Central Station in New York, February 2, 2013. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz