Image by: Laurie Avocado
By Dexter Lunde
With nearly half of the United States discussing and approving medical marijuana, it isn’t so difficult to imagine some of our team members coming to work stoned out of their gourd. It used to be easy to just prohibit marijuana use all together and have your team members screened for drug tests – easy, right?
Not only is it easier for people to get access to marijuana (even when they don’t have a medical coupon for it, you can’t “forbid” their use of it – at least not at home. There appears to be a gray area now. What are we allowed to permit and what can we put restrictions on?
Your team needs to make sure that they know the distinction between what appropriate marijuana use is and what is not. Okay, so medical marijuana is legal now. Alcohol has been legal for a long time now. That doesn’t mean that your team members are allowed to show up at work, drunk and reeking of booze, does it?
#1) Consequences for Marijuana Use at Work
Make sure that you clearly state what the consequences are for the use of marijuana while on the job. Just like people shouldn’t be allowed to drink whiskey at work, the use of marijuana at work should involve consequences.
Most organizations want to prohibit or place limitations on smoking while at the work place, during work functions, and while on company time. If the use of marijuana inhibits or affects a person’s ability to work well, then there should be a warning or consequences for that person as well.
#2) Drug Testing Policies
Does your company have a drug testing policy already? Your state may already have regulations involving what kind of drug testing you can do. Make sure that you read up on those as well. Not only that, some state (like Colorado) already have a policy which states that a company doesn’t necessarily have to accommodate the use of medical marijuana.
#3) Read Up on Your State’s Marijuana Use Policies
The rules and regulations (state and national) are evolving when it comes to medical marijuana use. Because of that, you’re going to have to make sure that you do the proper research in order to come up with legit work policies. Here are a few links that will lead you to some helpful information regarding your state’s regulations.
The Medical Mariuana Procon site will tell you if your state allows the use of medical marijuana and gives you some restrictions about it (like how much a person is allowed to possess).
The NCSL website will give you more specific information. It is divided by state. If you click on the initiatives and rules, another window will open which gives you a more detailed response. Warning: It is in legal-speak.
You can find a PDF download of state-by-state laws and regulations regarding medical marijuana on the MPP.org website. The PDF file is in laymen’s terms, which is nice, and is 228 pages long. Of course, you only need to look up the information relative to your business and state.
Now it’s your turn. Does your workplace have a medical marijuana use policy? Are you having to come up with one for your work place? What are your thoughts on drug tests at your place of employment? Did we miss something? Let us in on your thoughts! We’d love to hear from you. Write down your ideas and questions in the comment section below.