Marijuana is a Hot Topic

01 May Marijuana is a Hot Topic

Marijuana is a hot topic, and you might be wondering how recent changes in some state laws will affect our Drug Free Workplace Policy.  As things stand right now, they won’t change anything. Only two states have passed laws allowing recreational use of marijuana (Colorado and Washington), and 20+ states have passed laws allowing the use of medicinal marijuana.  Colorado only allows use of recreational weed in a private home with the homeowner’s permission. It’s not allowed in parks, on ski slopes, in restaurants or other public buildings and spaces.

Since marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 drug (meaning that it’s still classified as being addictive and having no medicinal value) by the federal government, an applicant or employee who fails a drug test for marijuana still fails the drug test.  Even if there is a legitimate prescription for marijuana, a positive test is still a positive test.

Drug Free Work places are not preaching to anyone about how to live his or her life outside of work, and we want to make sure you’re informed. We realize that the federal government and several state governments have conflicting laws regarding marijuana and that the Schedule 1 classification of the drug may eventually be challenged. The newer versions of medicinal marijuana have less THC and less of a “high” effect, but for now, even the states who’ve passed recreational use laws support pre-employment and other drug tests as part of the Drug Free Workplace Program.

Keep your eye on this hot topic, because it’s coming up often in state law debates.


Scott Mastley, SPHR, MBA, is the Vice President of Human Resources for Resource Alliance. Scott is a consultant, not an attorney, so he shares his opinions, not legal advice, about increasing performance and limiting liability.