By Roger W. Hood | Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut all enacted medical marijuana laws this past year, joining sixteen other states with similar legislation. Whether your company has no drug policy, a simple policy prohibiting the use of illegal drugs and alcohol, or a robust drug policy that meets federal guidelines under the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, every company is affected by the new legislation.
Why is this important to your company? Even the simplest company drug policy such as the one here – “The Company will not tolerate any use of non-prescribed drugs or alcohol during work hours. If you come to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol or use drugs or alcohol during work time, you will be subject to the Company’s Corrective Discipline Policy.” – should be reviewed and revised to address use and distribution of medical marijuana.
Use of marijuana is still illegal under federal law and certain company positions, such as truck drivers, require periodic drug testing as part of the job. At minimum, use of marijuana in the workplace is disruptive and may create a safety issue. Judicial rulings in states with medical marijuana programs indicate that an applicant or employee can still be denied work or fired for failing a drug test, even if there is prescriptive use of marijuana. It is incumbent on Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut companies to review the new legislation, and review company policies on applicant and employee drug use for medical marijuana in the workplace.
To contact the author of this post, email Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org We welcome your comments and suggestions.