Marijuana Law Leaves Employers in a Haze

By Gary MacDonald
Executive Vice President

It didn’t take long for anxious employers to call us here at AIM after Massachusetts voters approved a referendum permitting the possession and recreational use of marijuana.

Could these companies continue to conduct drug tests on new employees? How will be employers be able to assess the impairment of employees who operate machinery or drive company vehicles? Will employees be permitted to light up on breaks? What about employees such as bus and truck drivers covered by mandatory drug testing under federal transportation regulations?

Oh, and all these questions must be answered for employers before the new law takes effect on December 15.

Given the short preparation window, AIM posted a blog by Tom Jones, Esq., early on Wednesday morning following the Question 4 vote.

The good news is that companies that addressed their drug-testing and drug-use policies in response to the 2012 medical marijuana law can prepare for the 2016 law with little more than a quick review. For companies that did not establish policies four years ago, now is the time to do so.

Tom is advising employers to review their drug/alcohol-free workplace policies to ensure that they cover all forms of drug use, including marijuana. You may want to revise your policy to make sure that it encompasses all aspects of your workplace, including vehicles used for business purposes, off-site duties at customer sites, work-related events, seminars and company-owned parking lots and garages.

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