America’s acceptance of cannabis has indeed increased to a new level. According to a Gallup survey from 2016, 60% of Americans support legalizing marijuana. That is an increase from just 25% in 1995.
Cannabis has seen a significant transformation in the past 20 years, going from being a well-known drug in the war on drugs to being viewed positively by Americans as a social benefit.
Cannabis use was once prohibited on both the state and federal levels; today, federal and state regulations differ greatly. Even though cannabis remains federally illegal, 29 states have changed their laws to permit its use for medical purposes, and eight states have made it completely legal for people to use the plant for recreational purposes.
What laws therefore have precedence?
Cannabis consumption by people must be safe at this point. Not so fastâthe evolving cannabis regulations across the country and the fact that the majority of the professional sector still views marijuana usage negatively have led to some unusual working situations.
Holes in the Current Laws
Due to the negative association that cannabis has, many companies don’t extend any more leniency than what is necessary by law. The employer may then use this as an excuse to penalize them or even discriminate against them.
Cannabis usage may be permitted for recreational or medical reasons, but this does not necessarily guarantee that it will be tolerated at work.
Numerous states that have legalized marijuana to varying degrees nevertheless permit employers to conduct drug testing and even decide to fire an employee based on the result of the drug test.
You’d be right to think that this policy is weird. The thought process is compared with drinking. Although it is permissible for you to consume alcohol you do not have the right to arrive at work intoxicated.
That is a wonderful sentiment, but anyone familiar with cannabis will recognize a major issue. For weeks following intake, cannabis use will be detected on a drug test. Therefore, there should be no usage of cannabis prior week to taking a drug test.
However, employers in some states can dismiss an employee based only on the results of a drug test.
The fact that cannabis is still regarded as illegal by federal law is one of the main issues with the sector. Anyone residing in a state where cannabis is allowed for either medical or recreational use is therefore ineligible for federal jobs.
This brings up the question of Medical Card and Government Jobs: how do they coexist?
According to the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, certain government contractors and grantees must provide working conditions that are independently verified to be free of the effects of drug use.
The employer almost always wins when a drug test is conducted under current laws. However, these rules are only applicable to positions held in non-federal employment.
Some medical and recreational states have enacted legislation protecting the rights of the employee. The majority of firms require applicants to sign an employment agreement contract before they can start working there, and these contracts frequently include language authorizing random drug tests by the company.
Some jobs are subject to automatic drug tests because of safety concerns involved with them, even if such a contract isn’t signed. These automated tests are also a component of the federal system that safeguards employees in situations that require extensive safety procedures.
Some have questioned whether employees who are regarded as disabled are exempt from the same regulations regarding medical cannabis use as other employees.
Unfortunately, the solution appears to lie in the murky middle. 2015 saw the unanimous decision of the Colorado Supreme Court that Dish Network could legitimately terminate a paralyzed employee who tested positive for cannabis despite having a prescription.
Even if you’re a responsible user and have the necessary medical credentials, the decision established the precedent that employers ultimately have the option to decide how to handle cannabis usage within their workforces.
Medical Use and Your Job
If you require medical cannabis to treat a medical condition or chronic pain, it can be challenging to know how to address the topic at work.
In some professions where it would be difficult to find qualified applicants, many companies are starting to turn a blind eye to cannabis usage as they realize it isn’t as harmful as originally thought.
The ski industry in Colorado is one such industry. They quickly understood that tight prohibitions on cannabis were not in their best interests.
However, when it comes to compensation for medical cannabis use, understanding Cannabis Compensation Rights is crucial.
It is preferable to be open about your usage of medical cannabis if you believe your boss to be a reasonable person who might cooperate with you.
Most cannabis-tolerant companies will admire a worker who is forthright about their use rather than trying to hide it. Don’t be hesitant to explain your need for it and how it helps you manage your health condition if they inquire.
It’s always best to be open and honest with your employer about anything that can jeopardize your employment.
Coworkers may question your use of cannabis. Maybe they don’t believe in the advantages or think that those who use medical marijuana receive special treatment.
Encourage individuals who have doubts about the usefulness of medical cannabis to learn how it can cure a wide range of conditions, including pain, depression, sleeplessness, and other ailments.
By disseminating information, the cannabis industry can gradually emerge from the background and catch the attention of the knowledgeable public, in both the personal and professional spheres.
What makes a good drug policy?
An employer policy should include:
- Employees with drug problems have access to support, which might take the shape of a formal assistance program or a referral to community resources.
- Define clearly employee use and possession parameters.
- Established procedures for post-accident testing
- Rules for handling an employee’s arrest or conviction
Cannabis legalization will inevitably result in cultural and administrative changes at work, but these adjustments can be managed effectively, benefiting both the employee and the employer.