The potential benefits of using cannabis in the workplace are clear.

The “can you pass a drug test with a medical card 2021” is the question that many people are asking themselves. It is important to know what your obligations are if you work for an employer who allows cannabis use in the workplace.

Cannabis-in-the-workplace-Employers-obligations

 

Four New England states have already legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes, necessitating a review of local businesses’ existing drug testing and substance usage policies to guarantee compliance with state and federal regulations.

Only New Hampshire and Rhode Island remain as legalization holdouts, with Connecticut legalizing recreational marijuana in June and Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont already having legislation in place. Employer-related aspects of the Connecticut legislation will take effect on July 1, 2022.

When it comes to internal policies, companies must tread carefully. They must abide by state law, but the usage of marijuana is prohibited under federal law. It isn’t even recognized as a medical therapy under federal law since it is a Schedule I drug.

Companies must also think about what is fair and reasonable for their employees. Employers in places where marijuana is allowed for both medicinal and recreational use must guarantee that they are not discriminating against workers who are lawfully consuming the drug outside of their work hours.

Employers in places where marijuana is allowed for recreational use typically treat it in the same way they do alcohol. You don’t have to allow it in the office, and if workers use it on their own time, the substance’s effect on job performance must be taken into account.

Marijuana usage in the workplace is illegal under federal law.

While marijuana is prohibited on the federal level, individuals who use or distribute it in accordance with state law are usually not prosecuted by the federal authorities. In “drug-free” workplaces, however, federal law still requires workers to test negative for marijuana and other prohibited drugs. Furthermore, for the purposes of supervision, distribution, and federal disability law protection, the government continues to regard marijuana as an illicit substance.

Is a zero-tolerance policy the best option?

It is the employer’s responsibility to act if an employee is impaired by alcohol, prescription medicine, or recreational marijuana to the point that he or she poses a safety risk. As a result, many companies have a strict no-tolerance policy when it comes to drinking alcohol at work. It’s also why there’s a zero-tolerance policy in place when it comes to the usage of marijuana and other cannabis products.

However, this does not imply that companies may immediately implement a zero-tolerance policy. This is particularly true if the state in which your company operates has passed explicit laws to safeguard a person’s right to use marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Off-duty usage of legal recreational cannabis products would be protected under a measure now pending in Massachusetts. A similar measure will take effect in Connecticut next year as part of a new legislation.

Employers should consider employee attitude and morale in addition to legal responsibilities. There are likely to be people in the workplace who are pro-cannabis. A zero-tolerance policy may do more damage than good if it lowers morale or reduces the pool of eligible applicants.

To be reviewed are policies.

Drug testing, work safety, medical accommodations, and off-duty usage are all rules that businesses and organizations should pay close attention to.

Drug testing may be used for pre-employment screening as well as continuous, randomized tests. However, one of the most challenging aspects of cannabis usage is determining when the drug was used. Testing may seem discriminatory if the employee is in a place where recreational use is allowed or if the employee is using it for medicinal purposes.

Some companies prefer to notify workers ahead of time when they will be tested. Others caution workers that recreational usage may have a good outcome, which will be dealt with accordance to rules.

It’s critical to establish a foundation for every regulation when developing workplace safety rules. Employees who tested positive for cannabis usage had higher injuries, industrial accidents, and absenteeism than those who tested negative, according to several research. Marijuana usage has also been related to lower productivity, greater turnover, an increase in litigation, and an increase in unemployment and workers’ compensation claims. Also, although cannabis usage is often compared to alcohol use, bear in mind that marijuana-related impairment is much more difficult to properly measure.

  • Medical marijuana users will be accommodated.

Employers must carefully examine their responsibilities to their workers when cannabis is used to treat a medical ailment. Courts have recently agreed with workers and punished companies that discriminate against employees who use cannabis lawfully.

Employers must consider the usage of additional cannabis products, such as CBD oil, which is a non-psychoactive chemical component of cannabis that is thought to have therapeutic benefit, when developing policies.

These products, however, may lead to a positive drug test result. Even if the person who used CBD oil or a comparable product complied with state law and was never intoxicated, the results of their tests may be problematic.

The “employee high at work” is a topic that has been in the news recently. Many employers are struggling with how to deal with employees who are under the influence of cannabis during work hours.

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