Screening News Network Blog

Medical Marijuana Laws Do Not Override Employer’s Rights… At Least for Now

Drug Testing, Legalizing Marijuana

The majority of states now have some form of legalized medical marijuana. The fact that marijuana is now going to be prescribed by physicians raises a lot of questions for employers. If an applicant or employee has a prescription, should the marijuana be considered a medication? And should patients using it be protected?

Lawmakers Stand in the Way of Marijuana Election Results

Legalizing Marijuana

As you undoubtedly already know, voters in several states have decided to make marijuana legal in some shape or form over the last couple of years. In some states, only medical marijuana is legal, and only oils and edibles are available. Others have fully legalized pot for recreational use, and business is booming. A report by Arcview Market Research found that cannabis consumers spent more than $6.9 billion – yes BILLION – on legal marijuana-related purchases in 2016.

But it is not all smooth sailing. Lawmakers in several states are doing everything they can to delay, or derail, many of the new laws.

Marijuana: The Backdoor Approach to Legalization

Legalizing Marijuana

When Colorado and Washington passed recreational marijuana laws in 2012, it was a big deal. It took people by surprise.  And given that reaction, it’s hard to believe that just four years later six more states and the District of Columbia passed similar laws with little fanfare.  Altogether 28* states now have some form of legalized marijuana, and as legalization continues to spread, so does the general acceptance from voters and the population as a whole.  Take Florida for example.  It passed medical marijuana in November 2016 with more than 71% of voters in favor of the new law.  Recent statistics have shown that the majority of millennials and baby boomers alike now support legalized marijuana.  But as support “goes viral,” has anyone really stopped to consider what it will all mean?  Much like the hubbub around the presidential campaign, are millions of Americans going to be taken aback by the outcome?

DEA Digs in on Marijuana: How Does the Decision Affect You?

Legalizing Marijuana

The US government is refusing to bow to peer pressure. Twenty five states have already passed laws to allow some kind of medical marijuana use, four others and the District of Columbia let people smoke for fun, and nine more have issues relating to the drug on this year’s ballot. Even so, the Drug Enforcement Administration recently announced it is rejecting requests to move marijuana from the Schedule I list of highly addictive drugs down to a Schedule II.

Fatalities Linked to Pot Spike on Washington Roadways

Drug Testing, Legalizing Marijuana

 

Washington State made recreational marijuana legal in 2013. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, in just a year the number of fatal car crashes involving the drug more than doubled in the state. The year before the drug was legalized, only 8% of fatal accidents involved drivers who showed signs of pot use. By 2014, that number was 17%.

Where the Candidates Stand on Cannabis

Legalizing Marijuana

 

A Gallup poll at the end of 2015 found that a majority of Americans now believe marijuana should be legal. In 1969 only 12% of adults felt this way, but the number has been steadily rising year after year. Now, the support stands at 58%. As of this moment, 17 states have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of the drug, while nearly half of the states have legalized the drug to treat specific medical conditions.

Testing Troubles Continue to Plague Medical Marijuana Issue

Drug Testing, Legalizing Marijuana

Our recent blog, Employers Get More Backup in Medical Marijuana Fight, got a very big response and some interesting questions. Here’s a quick refresher on the story. A Tractor Supply Company job applicant told the HR department that he legally used medical marijuana to treat HIV/AIDS. The company offered him the job, but quickly fired him when he failed the mandatory drug test. The court ruled in the company’s favor claiming that compelling the employer to keep the employee would essentially be forcing them to break federal law.

Employers Get More Backup in Medical Marijuana Fight

Legalizing Marijuana

A survey conducted by www.Yougov.com found that more than half of all Americans believe marijuana should be legal. In the January 15th survey, 52% percent of respondents under the age of 65 said marijuana should be legalized. In March of 2015 that number was 48%. Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Washington, D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana in some form, and 23 others have given the OK for the drug’s medical use.
Are You Impaired by Marijuana? There’s an App for that!

Legalizing Marijuana

One of the biggest complaints we are hearing from employers in states where marijuana is now legal is that there really is no way to measure if someone is under the influence.  If you think an employee has been drinking you can do a BAT test and find out exactly how much alcohol is in their system. We are still waiting on something similar to come along when it comes to pot.

Hawaii Lawyers in a Medical Marijuana Catch 22

Legalizing Marijuana

Over the last year we have discussed a lot of the challenges facing states with medical marijuana laws. Who can get approved to use the drug? How can they get it? And how will pot’s new legal status affect employers? Now there is a new wrinkle. Lawyers in Hawaii have been told they are not allowed to help companies trying to get a license to run the state’s first medical marijuana dispensaries.

Congress Uses Budget Bill to OK Marijuana

Drug Testing, Legalizing Marijuana

Leave it to the federal government to make a complex situation even more impossible. Marijuana laws now differ in almost every state. Some allow it for medicinal use; others have gone whole hog and made even recreational use ok.  These all fly in the face of the federal laws which still have pot classified as a banned drug according to the Controlled Substances Act.

Canada to Create World's First Medical Marijuana Registry

Drug Testing, Legalizing Marijuana

Are we putting the cart before the horse when it comes to legalizing medical marijuana? Some scientists and doctors in Canada believe so. Medical marijuana has been legal there since 2001. But while there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that people are getting relief from the drug, medical professionals say there’s still no true standard on usage and dosing. There is also a lack of data on long term risks that might come from using marijuana to treat a host of diseases from multiple sclerosis to cancer, migraines, seizures and dozens more.

Medical Marijuana Decision Gives Power to Employers

Drug Testing, Legalizing Marijuana

It’s taken 5 years, but Colorado’s Supreme Court has finally ruled in the case of Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic who was fired from his job at Dish Network after failing a random drug test.  As an authorized medical marijuana user, Coats’ drug use was completely legal under Colorado state law, but Dish Network argued they have a zero-tolerance drug policy. The company maintained that since marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, its use for any reason is cause for termination. On June 15, 2015 the court agreed, saying state laws that stop companies from firing people for doing a “lawful activity” only protect employees who are let go for activities that are legal under both state and federal law.