Legalized Marijuana: What Does It Mean for the Workplace | Blog | Aiman-Smith & Marcy
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Legalized Marijuana: What Does It Mean
for the Workplace

Many Californians cheered when Proposition 64 got passed into law. This legalized the recreational use of marijuana. They joined five other states to legalize marijuana use. 

However, that doesn’t give people the ability to use it whenever and wherever you want to. In fact, it is still not widely accepted in most jobs. Just like employers wouldn’t want their employees to come to work drunk, employees that are under the influence of marijuana can also cause some serious problems. Besides legal trouble, if someone gets hurt on the job, they can make some serious mistakes, which could cost the employer money. 

So, what does this new law mean for employees and employers? 

Employers can still require a drug and alcohol-free workplace. 

Just because it is legal doesn’t mean that marijuana is necessarily helpful in the workplace. Employers have every right to require their employees to come to work sober and with a clear head. This is especially true to keep everyone safe at work. 

This is especially true for companies that are located in multiple states. 

Since marijuana is illegal in most states, many companies are maintaining a strict drug and alcohol policy across the board for all employees, no matter where they live and work. Not only does this help with safety in the workplace, but all employees will also feel like they are being treated fairly. 

Because of this, employers have every right to ask for pre-employment drug testing. 

If employees don’t pass their drug tests, employers do not have to hire them. They can also require routine testing once employees are hired. 

However, this can be a bit confusing when it comes to medical marijuana. 

If an employee has a need for medical marijuana, the employer may or may not be able to deny employment. A lawyer should be consulted for both parties. In fact, in 2008, in a case called Ross v. RagingWire, the employer didn’t have to provide employment for someone who tested positive for marijuana, even though he had a medical need for it. 

Actually, since the law is so new, the interpretation is still up for interpretation. 

Some employers are able to use the newness of the law to their advantage, while others tend to favor the employees. Because of this, you should always have a lawyer on your side, if you are facing legal trouble due to marijuana use at work. 

The best thing that employers can do is to have a strict policy about drug and alcohol in the workplace. 

It is important that every employer has a strict policy about drugs and alcohol. In it, there must be a list of prohibited substances, including marijuana. If the prohibited substances aren’t listed, employees may be able to fight that, since marijuana is legal, they should be allowed to come to work high. 

Proposition 64 changed a lot of lives. In it, people can use marijuana for recreational purposes. However, that doesn’t mean that employers can’t expect their employees to come to work under the influence of the legal substance. It can be a safety issue so it is important that all employers have a strict policy for drugs and alcohol. It is also necessary to list the substances that aren’t allowed at work. If not, employees may be able to get away with using marijuana at work. 

If you have gotten in trouble at work due to your marijuana use, you need to contact us right away. We will be glad to help you figure out what your options are. If you decide to fight, we will be with you every step of the way.