MARIJUANA ARTICLE INDEX FOR 2019 FROM THE BACKGROUND BUZZ (59)
The Number of People Testing Positive for Marijuana in Workplace Drug Tests Is Exploding, Particularly in Public Safety and National Security Roles
JANUARY I NATIONAL: According to Quest Diagnostics, positive marijuana tests have increased in the general workforce, especially in those states that have legalized the drug.
Delaware Court Upholds Marijuana User’s Claims Against Employer
JANUARY I DELAWARE: An employee at Kraft Heinz sued the company for violations of the Delaware Medical Marijuana Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act after he was terminated following a positive test for the substance.
New Jersey Federal Court Finds That Employee Medical Marijuana Use Need Not Be Accommodated at Work
JANUARY I NEW JERSEY: A New Jersey court held that employers are not required to accommodate an employee’s use of medical marijuana under the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.
New Ruling on Medical Marijuana in the Workplace Clarifies Connecticut’s PUMA Legislation
JANUARY I CONNECTICUT: A Connecticut court rejected an employer’s argument that the federal Drug Free Workplace Act required it to rescind job offers following a positive test result for marijuana.
Connecticut City Sued for Refusing to Hire Medical Marijuana-Using Firefighter
FEBRUARY I CONNECTICUT: An aspiring firefighter in Connecticut was denied employment when he disclosed his use of marijuana under a medical marijuana card.
Adult Use Recreational Marijuana is Coming to the Garden State
FEBRUARY I NEW JERSEY: An agreement has been reached in New Jersey that will legalize, regulate and tax marijuana for adult recreational use.
Michigan Court Confirms that Public Employers May Enforce Zero-Tolerance Drug Policies
FEBRUARY I MICHIGAN: A Michigan court reinforced that the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act does not provide a cause of action against a public employer for enforcing its zero-tolerance drug policy.
Another State Finds No Federal Preemption of its Medical Marijuana Law
FEBRUARY I DELAWARE: A Kraft Heinz employee has been permitted to move forward with discrimination claims arising out of Delaware’s Medical Marijuana Act.
A New Ruling on the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act : Did Your Drug Testing Policy Just Go Up in Smoke?
FEBRUARY I ARIZONA: The court in Whitmire v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., held that medical marijuana card holders can sue their employers under Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Act.
Employers May Have to Accommodate Medical Marijuana Users Under Some State Laws
FEBRUARY I NATIONAL: Although it remains an illegal drug under the Controlled Substances Act, federal prosecutors may decide how and whether to prosecute marijuana-related crimes.
Legalized Marijuana Closer to Reality in Kentucky as Pot Bill Moves Forward
MARCH I KENTUCKY: A House Bill that would legalize medical marijuana has won initial committee approval in the state of Kentucky.
Employers in This State Cannot Reject Job Applicants Solely for Smoking Pot
MARCH I MAINE: A new recreational marijuana law in Maine prohibits employers from rejecting job applicants or firing employees because of a positive test for the drug.
Navigating Workplace Drug Testing Has Never Been More Challenging – Or More Critical
MARCH I NATIONAL: According to Any Lab Test Now, education and information are the key to complying with state marijuana laws for both medical use and recreational means.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Signed Bill Permitting Patients to Smoke Medical Marijuana
MARCH I FLORIDA: A circuit court judge in Florida ruled that the state’s legislature ban on smoked medical marijuana conflicts with the intent of the constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana.
Court Finds Implied Right of Private Action in Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Law
MARCH I ARIZONA: The federal court in Arizona has discovered that implied rights exist for medical marijuana users to sue employers, finding that test results alone aren’t enough to prove impairment.
Michigan Court of Appeals Holds That Medical Marihuana Act Does Not Prohibit Employers from Rescinding Offers of Employment After Positive Tests
MARCH I MICHIGAN: It has been determined that an employer does not violate the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act when it rescinds a conditional offer of employment based on a positive drug test.
How Marijuana Laws Affect Workplace Policies for Municipalities in Michigan
MARCH I MICHIGAN: Marijuana has been legalized for recreational use in Michigan, but employers can still prohibit the possession, distribution, manufacture and/or consumption of the drug at work.
Medical Marijuana, Employers, and Drug Policies
MARCH I OHIO: Ohio law provides several employer-friendly provisions and they will not likely be adversely impacted by the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes.
Navigating Marijuana in the Workplace
APRIL I NATIONAL: Marijuana remains an illegal drug under federal law and, while the Americans with Disabilities Act doesn’t require its accommodation outside of work, some states offer protections.
New Mexico to Become 24th State to Decriminalize Marijuana
APRIL I NEW MEXICO: Legislation has been signed in New Mexico that will reduce penalties for marijuana from a criminal to a civil violation.
Oklahoma “Unity Bill” Clarifies Medical Marijuana Law, Includes Provisions Helpful to Employers
APRIL I OKLAHOMA: Oklahoma’s “Unity Bill” clarifies certain regulatory aspects of the state’s medical marijuana law and includes provisions that will be helpful to employers in the state.
Possession of a Medical Marijuana Card Alone Does Not Approve Marijuana Use, Appeals Court Holds
APRIL I HAWAII: An applicant’s disability discrimination claim in Hawaii was not dismissed by the court because it could not be proven that marijuana had been used at the time of the interview.
Reasonable Accommodation for Marijuana Use – Part Two: State Law Approaches to Workplace Safety Versus Individual Rights to Use
APRIL I NATIONAL: Across the country, states are considering how state laws and federal and state occupational safety and health regulations affect employees in safety sensitive positions.
Failure to Accommodate Medical Marijuana Use Held Valid Basis for Discrimination Claim
APRIL I NEW JERSEY: A lawsuit has been reopened in which the plaintiff claims he was unlawfully discriminated against for using medical marijuana as part of his cancer treatment as part of New Jersey’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA).
APRIL I NATIONAL: While marijuana remains a Schedule 1 drug at the federal level, states across the country have taken measures to ensure employees are protected from federal law.
New Jersey’s Appellate Division Issues Historic Ruling on Medical Marijuana Users’ Rights in the Workplace
APRIL I NEW JERSEY: New Jersey’s Appellate Division has found that an employee may be able to state a disability discrimination claim against an employer who takes an adverse employment action due to the employee’s use of medical marijuana.
Illinois House Approves Marijuana Legislation Bill Backed By Gov. J.B. Pritzker
MAY I ILLINOIS: The Illinois House has approved a bill that would legalize recreational use of marijuana.
Medical Cannabis and Safety Sensitive Work
MAY I NEWFOUNDLAND/LABRADOR: Employers with employees prescribed to use medical cannabis will look to a recent decision in which the Court found that the possibility of impairment met the threshold of undue hardship.
US Workers Are Failing Drug Tests at an Incredible Rate – But Legal Weed Has the Future of These Screenings in Doubt
MAY I NATIONAL: Although positive drug tests have reached a 14-year high, with marijuana in the lead, research suggests that drug tests are unlikely to reduce future substance abuse.
New York City and New Mexico Protect Employees Who Are Medical Marijuana Users
MAY I NEW YORK CITY/NEW MEXICO: Although unique in their wording and specifics, New York City and New Mexico laws aim to protect employees who are medical marijuana users.
Arizona Supreme Court Clears the Haze: Medical Marijuana Includes Extracted Resin
JUNE I ARIZONA: The Arizona Supreme Court reversed a trial court’s ruling in a marijuana possession case reasoning that the state’s Medical Marijuana Act only limits the amount of marijuana, not the type.
Illinois’ New Cannabis Law May Leave Employers in a Smoky Daze
JUNE I ILLINOIS: Illinois’ new cannabis law restricts employers from declining to hire or discharge applicants or employees who test positive for cannabis use.
Illinois Poised to Make Adult Use Cannabis Legal
JUNE I ILLINOIS: The Illinois Senate and House voted to legalize cannabis for adult use and permit medical patients to cultivate up to five cannabis plants per household.
Oklahoma HB 2612 Makes Big Changes to Medical Marijuana and Workplace Drug Testing Laws
JUNE I OKLAHOMA: House Bill 2612 adds new sections to Oklahoma’s existing medical marijuana regulations, as well as makes small but significant amendments to workplace drug testing laws.
Illinois Poised to Protect Marijuana Users from Adverse Employment Actions as Part of Marijuana Legalization Legislation
JUNE I ILLINOIS: The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act provides expansive workplace protections to marijuana users and requires employers to relax zero-tolerance marijuana policies.
Occupations Governed by Federal Regulation Remain Guarded Against State Medical Marijuana Non-Discrimination Laws
JUNE I NATIONAL: Federal regulations may prohibit marijuana use in states where it has been legalized, especially in positions involving federal money, federal contractors, and safety sensitive positions.
Court Finds No Private Right of Action Under Michigan Medical Marihuana Act
JUNE I MICHIGAN: The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of a case involving the rejection of a job applicant who tested positive for marihuana.
New Jersey Governor Clears the Medical Cannabis Haze
JULY I NEW JERSEY: An appellate court in New Jersey noted that medical cannabis users may be able to bring suit against an employer for disability discrimination under the state’s Law Against Discrimination.
Some Employers Aren’t Prepared to Manage Marijuana Use, Report Shows
JULY I NATIONAL: A recent Paychex survey revealed that 34 percent of the 500 employers polled said they’re not ready to manage medicinal use of cannabis in the workplace.
Medical Marijuana and Safety Sensitive Positions
JULY I OKLAHOMA: The governor of Okhahoma signed the Unity Bill, permitting employers to discipline employees in safety-sensitive positions, or refuse to hire applicants for such positions if they test positive for marijuana.
New Jersey Expands its Medical Cannabis Act to Include Workplace Protections
JULY I NEW JERSEY: A bill has been signed in New Jersey that adds an express anti-discrimination clause to the state’s Medical Cannabis Act.
The New Balancing Act – Assessing the Risks of Drug Testing for Marijuana
JULY I IOWA: Employers in the state of Iowa could face disability discrimination claims for asking a job applicant if they have a Medical Cannabidiol registration card or testing and taking action against them.
Are Multi-State Employers “Rolled Too Tight” on their Drug Testing Policies?
AUGUST I NATIONAL: Although employers across the nation have relaxed their drug screening policies, it is still within their rights to fire an employee for being impaired by marijuana while at work.
Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act – What You Need to Know
AUGUST I ILLINOIS: Employers in Illinois should update their drug testing policies in response to the legalization to purchase and consume cannabis, but can still discipline or terminate for impairment.
Texas’ Expansion of Medical Marijuana May Impact Employers
SEPTEMBER I TEXAS: The 2015 Compassionate Use Program now includes multiple sclerosis, other seizure disorders, autism, cancer and other incurable neurodegenerative diseases.
SEPTEMBER I NATIONAL: Possession or use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law, but HR professionals must keep up with changing state laws regarding its use both medically and recreationally.
Cannabis and Workplace Impairment: One Year On From Legalization
OCTOBER I CANADA: The sale and use of edible cannabis is legal in Canada, but it is important for employers to craft impairment tests and policies that reflect an understanding of cannabis’ effects.
Medical Marijuana Can Be A Tricky Issue for Arizona Employers
OCTOBER I ARIZONA: Although exceptions apply, Arizona voters approved a law that prohibits an employer from refusing to hire or terminate an employee because they have a medical marijuana card.
CBD or THC? Common Drug Test Can’t Tell the Difference
OCTOBER I NATIONAL: The Farm Bill legalized hemp, but standard drug tests can’t tell the difference between it and illegal substance THC, resulting in faulty testing.
National Safety Council States That “No Level of Cannabis Use is Safe or Acceptable” For Safety-Sensitive Positions
OCTOBER I NATIONAL: The National Safety Council has concluded that there is no level of cannabis use that is safe or acceptable for employees in safety-sensitive positions.
Amazon the Latest to Face Discrimination Suit Over Medical Marijuana in the Workplace
NOVEMBER I NEW JERSEY: A New Jersey man has sued Amazon, claiming he was fired from his job for a positive marijuana test, despite having a valid medical marijuana card.
Marijuana Breathalyzers: Could New Testing Methods Help Employers and Employees?
NOVEMBER I NATIONAL: Breathalyzer tests are being designed that could show if a person used marijuana within the two to three hours before.
Deep in the Woods: Hidden Employment Issues in Illinois’ New Retail Marijuana Law
NOVEMBER I ILLINOIS: In January 2020, the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act would legalize adult-use retail marijuana, prohibiting employers from firing employees for off-duty use.
Legal CBD Products May Make You Test Positive for Cannabis in Urine Drug Tests, Johns Hopkins Study Says
NOVEMBER I NATIONAL: Research revealed that pure CBD did not produce a positive result on a standard urine drug test for cannabis, but some tested positive after inhaling CBD-dominant vapor.
Medical Marijuana Gets a New ‘Test Case’ in PA
NOVEMBER I PENNSYLVANIA: A case filed in Pennsylvania is a very clean test case for the practicalities of enforcing an employee’s rights under Section 2103 of the state’s Medical Marijuana Act.
Tenth Circuit Holds the Controlled Substance Act is Not at Odds with the Fair Labor Standards Act
NOVEMBER I NATIONAL: The Tenth Circuit determines that employers are not excused from complying with federal laws regarding cannabis simply because they are violating federal law in other respects.
Employees Who Fail Drug Tests Are Not Always Intoxicated
NOVEMBER I OKLAHOMA: The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals ruled that a post-accident drug test confirming an employee’s use of marijuana does not prove intoxication in the workplace.
Illinois Legislature Clarifies Cannabis Act to Protect Employers Engaged in Workplace Marijuana Testing
DECEMBER I ILLINOIS: Marijuana will be legalized for recreational use in Illinois and employers should consider drafting or revising drug-testing and drug-free workplace policies.
Illinois General Assembly Passes Amendments to Recreational Cannabis Law That Help Reduce Employer Liability
DECEMBER I ILLINOIS: The Illinois Chamber of Commerce has proposed revisions to the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act to clarify permissible drug testing and to limit possible causes of action against employers.