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Marijuana Use and Workplace Drug Policies

Oct 27, 2015

Medical marijuana presents a challenge for all employers because of the rapidly developing, unique, state-by-state laws and regulations. Couple this with a federal law that still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug – one with no legal use – and the challenge becomes even greater.

This article attempts to bring some clarity to this complicated issue. The authors say it best: “This uncertain regulatory scheme places employers in the delicate position of attempting to comply with divergent laws while maintaining order and safety in the workplace,” said Timothy P. Van Dyck and Nathanael Nichols, attorneys at Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP in Boston.

The authors offer some excellent advice on this rapidly evolving topic. The Hylant risk control service team encourages employers to continually monitor this to ensure they stay on top of any future changes to their state laws. It is also important to note, while primary concerns center around legal compliance and safety concerns, there is also the potential for an employee’s productivity and quality of work to be impacted by medical marijuana use. And depending on the circumstances, it may be impacted positively or negatively, and this should also be considered by the employer when looking at policies and practices.

Keep in mind this is just one issue an employer needs to focus on to help prevent OSHA citations and workplace injuries. Our risk control services are available to assist an employer with the multiple other challenges they face.

Please contact your local Hylant representative for more information.

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