Many are excited about the pending legalization efforts of marijuana proponents across the country. From college students to housewives, entrepreneurs to business owners, many are gearing up to partake in green festivities.
There is a problem however. It could still cost you your job.
Excepting commercial driver’s license holders, new hires are the only ones allowed to be drug tested according to current federal guidelines. CDL drivers can be randomly tested.
But state statutes differ. A ruling by a court in Colorado upheld a zero tolerance workplace policy, even though marijuana is legal.
State Senator Ann Cummings in a hearing last Friday says, “One of the big civil liberty concerns about drug testing is that generally those drugs are illegal. Once marijuana is not illegal, I’m wondering if some of that concern will go away.”
One major concern is pinpointing exactly when a person last smoked. An example given was from Bellavance Trucking, who had a driver involved in an accident. The driver was not at fault, but when he was tested, marijuana was found in his system, from use of up to 10 days prior, and because of that, the company was found liable.
There’s conflicting opinions on how to deal with this. Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development Pat Moulton suggests following a guideline from Colorado: allowing testing after an employee files for a workplace accident.
Kevin Mullin Republican state Senator and Committee Chair disagrees, suggesting an incident report that finds THC in an employee’s system might lead to criminal charges from the federal government.
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