There seems to be a questionable intersection between legal marijuana and current employment laws. This hazy intersection is likely to begin to be a source of a real problem very soon if some effort isn’t put into drawing a line in the sand when it comes to legal cannabis use and employment laws that sometimes require drug testing.
While many industries drug test these days, not all have thoroughly legitimate reasons for doing so. And there are others who do have legitimate reasons for testing workers when it comes to highly dangerous jobs that can require the quickest reflexes, something most of us would admit a bit delayed while high on cannabis.
However, therein lies the problem. Currently, there really isn’t a truly affordable way to test anyone for on-the-spot, ‘did you just get high’, are you stoned at work? – effectively. The problem is the same we now have with DUI testing for cannabis consumption. Cannabis stays in the system long after use and measuring the amount of cannabis in the human system comes with far too many variables to call the results any sort of accurate science when it comes to knowing with certainty that a worker has actually gotten high on-the-job. Because that would be the only time it should matter. That’s how alcohol works in employment laws, too.
The Legal Tangle
It isn’t just confusing because of the inability to accurately test for current cannabis usage, but adding to the fray is the all over the board legalization versus medicinal legalization, card carrying requirements and more.
“You’re looking at a situation where [some] states have decriminalized possession and use of marijuana, but state-authorized users may still be subject to criminal prosecution under federal law,” says Nancy Vary of Buck Consultants at Xerox. “I don’t think people realize that. They think that because a particular state licenses its use, the activity is lawful for all purposes.”
What is next is a difficult situation for lawmakers to bang out. What’s next is science getting to it in discovering a method for testing for asap marijuana detection and testing. Companies are going to need to hone some of their HR policies and find out what their states current drug use protection laws include. In some states and with certain types of industries, you can’t just fire a worker for testing positive for any drug. States, perhaps even individual businesses will have to come up with their own determinations on how to manage medical marijuana users.
What do you think the next step in securing employment for medicinal or recreational cannabis users who do not use on-the-job?