Employment Law: Marijuana, Drug Testing, and Other Conflicting Laws

After 100 years of being illegal everywhere as a Federally-controlled substance, now some form of marijuana or hemp is legal almost everywhere. Only four states have not enacted laws allowing some form of cannabis, marijuana, THC, hemp, CBD. Even the Federal government has exempted certain medical uses of CBD from the Controlled Substance list.

State laws range from limited prescription use of CBD oils for specific medical conditions, to full-out recreational use. Some states or cities have passed laws prohibiting employers from testing for marijuana or from disciplining or discharging those who use and/or test positive.

In 2020 more states legalized recreational use. Cross a state line and the rules change greatly. For Human Resources, knowing the law in your location may not be enough. Do you have branches in other states? Are you close to a line, and have employees commute from a recreational use state? Can your policy prohibit them from using a “legal product” at home? And, the law in your state may change – at any time, in this rapidly developing area.

Other laws further complicate the situation. The ADA reasonable accommodation; privacy laws; Federal Contractor’s Drug-Free Workplace Act applies if you have a Federal contract (or are a sub-contractor), D.O.T. Transportation Testing Rules and more, come into play in employee use situations. Some of these seem to trap you in conflicting requirements.

Covered Topics

  • What is marijuana? What is not? Not all cannabinoids are the same.
  • The basic state models. From zero-tolerance to open use.
  • Not all recreational use states are the same – differing standards for employer actions.
  • Some rules you can apply everywhere. Regardless of the state law.
  • Understand the additional impact of other laws (ADA, FMLA, etc.)
  • Learn about the do's and don'ts of testing
  • Learn the elements of a "proper" multi-state policy for marijuana

Who Should Attend?

Human Resources Managers, Safety & Security personnel, Branch Managers, Executives, Supervisors.