With 20 states now allowing medical marijuana use (and two allowing recreational use), there is a new and urgent need for organizations to understand the associated liability issues in the workplace.
Although the laws allow the drug’s use for medical purposes, they may not address the impact that legal medical marijuana has on the workplace. Beyond the increase in potential safety issues, there is also the concern about productivity—in our organizations and as a nation.
In a recent interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” California Gov. Jerry Brown questioned how America can stay a great nation if everyone is stoned. He noted that “The problem with anything, a certain amount is OK, but there is a tendency to go to extremes. And all of a sudden if there’s advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world’s pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together.”
As an HR professional or a people manager, you may already be dealing with these issues if you work in a state where marijuana use is legal. If not, be prepared: The number of states enacting such legislation keeps growing. Your state may be next.
Please join @weknownext at 3 p.m. ET on March 26 for #Nextchat with special guest, employment attorney Christine Walters (@Christinevbw). We’ll chat about the issues that HR will need to address as both medical and recreational marijuana use expands throughout the country.
Q1. Should laws be passed to protect marijuana users from discrimination in the workplace?
Q2. What are the obvious and hidden implications for the workplace of medical marijuana use?
Q3. Should employees using medical marijuana be exempt from drug testing in states where it's legal? Why or why not?
Q4. Should employers set limits for employees who say they need to smoke medical marijuana on the job? Why, or why not?
Q5. If medical marijuana is or will be legal in your state, what HR policies have you changed (or expect to change)?
Q6. Should an employer be liable for workers’ comp benefits if an employee on medical marijuana incurs an injury?
Q7. Is it a reasonable accommodation to permit an employee to work under the influence of medical marijuana?
Q8. Will America’s workforce become less competitive if all states legalize use of recreational marijuana?