Marijuana in the Workplace

2021 has introduced a movement towards the decriminalization of Marijuana. While cannabis remains a federally illegal substance, many states have put in place statutes that allow for the use of marijuana. So, what does all this mean for the workplace? Let me break it down for you. 

Outside of the federal laws, many states have implemented policies that allow for marijuana usage. Some allow recreational use for all adults and others allow the usage for medical reasons. As states take different approaches to how people can use marijuana it has blurred the lines for drug testing protocols within the workplace.

Many employers have implemented policies that establish a zero policy for marijuana use inside and outside of the office through their drug testing protocols. Marijuana tests make it difficult to determine whether an employee has used marijuana inside or outside of the office because of the amount of time that marijuana stays in your system. In comparison with alcohol, a blood test can determine how much alcohol was in an individual’s system at a certain time. This makes it logically simpler for employers to have an outright ban on marijuana. However, these laws are making the regulations that companies must follow different for every state.

Another important factor to address will be the tolerance for individuals with medical usage versus recreational. These medical policies will have to adjust to support medical practices yet still will allow companies to have policies in place. 

It is important to note that many of these laws do not protect employees from repercussions of a workplace acting against usage and NO COMPANY allows usage on the job.   It does however blur the lines of what is to come during the future with regards to company drug policy. 

Many companies will keep policies in place that restrict marijuana use within the office as well as ban employees showing up to work high. On the other hand, restrictions regarding outside use could change. It is also crucial to note that under state laws companies can still place restrictions the main difference comes down to tolerance of outside usage.      

Drug testing policies within companies ultimately come down to safety for an individual as well as the people surrounding them. It is important for both employers and employees to be sure to look at your state cannabis related laws to see what each policy allows or does not allow because every state differs.