In recent years many states have decriminalized and in some cases legalized the usage of marijuana for personal use. This has created some concern for both employers who have a no-marijuana drug policy and employees who live in a state where the drug is not legal for adult consumption. Let’s take a look at the issue from the viewpoint of an employer.
How Does Legal Marijuana Affect the Employer?
The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, more commonly known as Prop 64, was passed by voters back in November of 2016 and has now come into effect beginning this year. This allows for the legalized purchase, possession, and use of marijuana for recreational purposes. This leaves one to wonder what an employer is to regarding the new legislation and workplace conditions. This initiative has left many companies and employers consulting employment lawyers with several questions regarding their current workplace policies and procedures for both current employees and prospective new hires.
What Are Employer Rights with Legal Marijuana
Cannabis is legal in 33 states for medical use and 11 states for recreational use. But just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s accepted at work.
Although cannabis remains a federally illegal substance, the number of states that permit its use is growing rapidly. Currently, 11 states (plus Washington, D.C.) have marijuana laws in place that permit the cultivation, possession and use of marijuana for all adults, while 33 states have legalized some form of a medical marijuana program. These policy developments have created a new challenge for employers who maintain drug testing policies either as part of the employee onboarding process or a periodic condition of employment.
Under Federal Law, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug perceived to have a high potential for abuse; Schedule 1 drugs are also perceived to have no medical value. Due to this classification, the California Supreme Court upholds that an employer can still enforce a zero-tolerance policy against marijuana use, which includes pre-screening for potential new hires as well as conducting post-accident and “reasonable suspicion” drug tests for active employees. Employers have a right to enforce policies and procedures that promote healthy work practices and most importantly help maintain a safe work environment.
Cannabis Legalization and Workplace Drug Policies
These rapid changes have left many employers in precarious positions. Many employers maintain zero-tolerance policies on using drugs (including marijuana) in and outside the workplace and, naturally, don’t want their employees showing up to work intoxicated.
The legality of cannabis is not the issue; certainly, employees drinking on the job is grounds for termination in any company, despite alcohol’s legal status. However, determining whether employees and job applicants are using cannabis on the job or on their own time is more difficult.
What Should the Employer Do?
Employers looking to implement or enforce these procedures are encouraged by employment attorneys to review, evaluate, and update current company policies. Company policy regarding substance regulations, testing procedures, and disciplinary infractions should be clear, specific and maintained up to date. This includes, but is not limited to, company rules and employee handbooks. Employers can reprimand or take further action if an employee is found to have violated company policy, so long as it is made clear that there is no discrimination involved in the process.
How Marijuana Use Can impact Job Safety
The conversation around marijuana in the workplace takes a completely different shape in occupations with a higher likelihood of on-the-job employee injuries.
Marijuana in the workplace may increase the risk of on-the-job injuries. According to a study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, there may be a statistical correlation with marijuana use and an increased likelihood of workplace accidents. This risk is amplified for workers whose jobs involve driving vehicles – especially public transit drivers – as several studies have correlated marijuana intoxication with impaired driving ability.
How Do Instant Drug Screens Work?
Instant drug screens, also referred to as Point of Collection Testing (POCT), uses enzymes for testing. Each testing strip in the test kit has a dedicated set of enzymes built-in, which are activated when the sample hits the testing strip. If there are THC metabolites in the urine sample, then the enzymes in the testing strip will activate, thus giving a positive result. However, CBD and THC have different metabolites, and therefore the CBD metabolites won’t active the testing strip.
Where Can Companies Order Drug Testing Kits For Marijuana
If you are a company or individual that is looking to purchase drug test kits and have been endlessly searching for drug test kits near me, then look no further than Preferred Med Supply. We stock 5 Panel Drug Test Kits and 12 Panel Drug Test Kits on our website. We deliver to your business or home, saving you the hassle, and even offer repeat purchase options. To order click here or call 866-876-6355 today.