Marijuana Laws and How it Effects Your Hiring Practices

, , , , , | May 16, 2022 | By

Recruiters, managers and HR professionals need to be aware that marijuana is legal in more than half of all U.S. states and it will become increasingly more prevalent in the workplace. Hiring practices are already changing as employers try to find a balance between keeping employees who use marijuana on board and ensuring a safe workplace for everyone.

Laws vary by state

The first thing to keep in mind is that not all laws are the same, and they differ from state to state.

It's important to remember that laws governing marijuana use are constantly changing, with new updates being made on a regular basis. This means it can be difficult for employers to stay fully up-to-date, especially if your company operates in more than one state. For example:

  • Oklahoma recently passed legislation allowing people who have received medical marijuana cards to consume the drug after they've been hired by an employer. However, they're still prohibited from actually smoking at work or showing up under the influence of cannabis.

  • In New York State, employers aren't allowed to fire or refuse to hire someone just because he or she has received a medical cannabis card. However, companies can discipline employees who test positive for cannabis use during a drug test - even if the employee was using marijuana legally for medicinal purposes outside of working hours!

  • In California and Illinois, employers are permitted to not only terminate employment but also refuse employment altogether based solely on positive results from a pre-employment drug test - regardless of whether those results came about due other reasons beside illegal consumption! This means that even though an applicant may have used marijuana recreationally before moving back home after college (where recreational consumption is legal), he/she could still lose their job offer because he/she  tested positive during pre-hire screening - which could happen even years later when applying elsewhere within Illinois itself!

It is still illegal at the federal level, even in legalized states.

There is a great deal of confusion surrounding marijuana laws, especially when it comes to hiring practices. While medical and recreational marijuana usage have been legalized in many states, it is still illegal at the federal level, even in legalized states. At this time, no matter how your state views marijuana use, you need to keep in mind that federal law trumps state law.

Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug under federal law: "drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse." It's important to note that although the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has recently loosened research restrictions on the drug, federal agencies like the DEA can only enforce laws; they cannot change them. This means that any changes to classification on a federal level would need to come from Congress. Until then, employers should be aware of how their positions are affected by this current legislation.

It is important to understand the laws before you hire anyone who uses marijuana.

It is important to understand the laws before you hire anybody who uses marijuana. Marijuana is legal in some states, illegal in others—and in many states, it's a gray area with respect to whether or not you can discriminate against marijuana users. You need to know what your rights are and what actions you should take when considering hiring somebody who uses marijuana.

Additionally, if you want to avoid being sued, it’s essential that you understand the law. If an individual files a lawsuit against your business for discrimination due to their use of medical marijuana, how will you defend yourself? It’s vital for businesses to educate themselves about this sometimes-confusing topic so as not become a target for lawsuits.