MARIJUANA ARTICLE INDEX FOR 2020 FROM THE BACKGROUND BUZZ (55)
Colorado Bill Aims to Block Employers from Punishing Employees for Off-Duty Marijuana Use
January |Colorado: A bill has been introduced in Colorado that would prohibit companies from firing employees in the state simply because they legally use marijuana while not at work.
Puff, Puff, Passed: 2019 Marijuana Laws in Review and 2020 Projections
January | National: Illinois’ Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act legalizes the use and possession of marijuana for adults age 21 and older and other states are expected to adopt marijuana protections.
Marijuana and the Workplace: What’s New for 2020
January |National: Some workplaces now prohibit employers from screening new hires for marijuana or refusing to hire applicants based on a failed pre-employment marijuana screening.
Pennsylvania Court Holds Employees May Sue Under Medical Marijuana Act
January |Pennsylvania: A Pennsylvania state court held that the state’s Medical Marijuana Act creates a private right of action for medical marijuana users to sue their employers.
Smoking Cannabis Legally in Illinois: What’s an Employer to Do?
January |Illinois: Illinois has legalized the sale and use of marijuana for personal and recreational use, leaving employers to wonder what sort of testing will be allowed.
Weed at Work: Should Employers Expand “Alcohol at Work” to Cover Recreational Cannabis
January |National: Employers across the country are struggling to address the new hazards of widespread use of recreational cannabis and its risks to the workplace.
Medical Marijuana Protections Continue to Expand in New Jersey
January |New Jersey: An Appellate Division ruling in New Jersey offered another layer of protection for employees using medical marijuana.
Warning: Despite New Amendments to Illinois Cannabis Act, Employers are Still Vulnerable
January |Illinois: Amendments to the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act don’t eliminate the protections afforded to employees under the Illinois’ Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act.
Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act at Issue in Recently Filed Complaint
January |Pennsylvania: A former city worker filed a complaint against the authority alleging a claim for unlawful termination in violation of public policy following a positive drug test.
Exploring Employee Rights Regarding Medical Marijuana
February | National: As marijuana laws continue to increase in numbers across the nation, employers should be aware of significant ways medical marijuana affects the workplace.
New Jersey Continues to be an Epicenter of Marijuana Related Employment Issues
February | New Jersey: New Jersey lawmakers advanced a bill that would require workers’ compensation to cover medical marijuana.
Pennsylvania Court Finds Private Right of Action for Employees Under State’s Medical Marijuana Law
February | Pennsylvania: A PA state court has held that employees can bring lawsuits against their employers asserting claims under the state’s Medical Marijuana Act (MMA).
Medical Marijuana Employee Protection Act: What the Future Could Hold for Florida
February | Florida: Both private and public sector employees soon could be awarded sweeping rights regarding medical marijuana.
CBD in the Workplace & Potential Changes to Kentucky Law
March | Kentucky: Kentucky Senate Bill 92 created an appeals process for public employees who are found to have violated the state’s marijuana drug policy.
Proposed State Law Would Protect Medical Marijuana Users from Employment Discrimination
March |California: A bill has been introduced in California that would prohibit employers from refusing to hire or employ a person because of their medical cannabis status.
New Jersey Employers Must Accommodate Authorized Use of Medical Marijuana Outside of Workplace
March | New Jersey: The New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision in a CUMMA/LAD case reminds employers to ensure company policies regarding medical marijuana requirements.
New Jersey’s Supreme Court Upholds Reinstatement of Medical Cannabis User’s Claim Under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination
March | New Jersey: The New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed the reinstatement of a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by a medical cannabis cardholder against his employer.
Utah State Legislature Clarifies: Private Employers Not Required to Accommodate Use of Medical Cannabis; Public Employers Held to Different Standard
March | Utah: Senate Bill 121 was enacted by the Utah State Legislature, amending and clarifying various provisions of Utah’s medical cannabis laws.
Florida Medical Marijuana Users May Soon Become Protected Class Under State Employment
March | Florida: Chambers of the Florida Legislature are considering proposed bills aimed at extending certain protections to Florida employees who are legal medical marijuana users.
The 2019 Honig Act Means New Obligations for New Jersey Employers Around Cannabis at Work
March | New Jersey: The governor of New Jersey signed into law the Honig Act, making it unlawful to take any adverse action against an employee who is registered as a qualifying medical marijuana patient.
Cannabis in the Workplace: A Comparative Law Review of Employee Rights and Employer Obligations
March | National: Wilson Eiser’s 2020 review provides a comprehensive, state-by-state review of current laws and resulting trends around the nation.
NJ Supreme Court Recognizes Medical Marijuana Discrimination
April | New Jersey: The NJ Supreme Court ruled in a case that an employee may pursue discrimination claims relating to CUMMA against his former employer.
AB 2355 Aims to Make Medical Cannabis Users a Protected Class in California
April | California: AB2355, introduced in California, would make medical marijuana cannabis users a protected class in California.
New York City Commission on Human Rights Proposes Rules Addressing Exceptions to Prohibition on Pre-Employment Marijuana Screening
April | New York: New rules were proposed that address exceptions recognized under the city’s ordinance generally prohibiting pre-employment testing for marijuana and THC.
Workplace Protections for DC Medical Marijuana Patients Extended Under Emergency Bill
May | District of Columbia: Lawmakers passed emergency legislation that extends a policy that protects government employees from workplace discrimination due to medical marijuana use.
U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Unveils Revised Marijuana Legalization Bill
May | Virgin Islands: A revised medical marijuana legislation bill would make significant changes to existing policy, with an emphasis on tax revenue from legal cannabis sales.
Virginia Marijuana Bill to Bar Applicant Questions on Decriminalized Charges
May | Virginia: The governor of Virginia approved House Bill 972, decriminalizing simple possession of marijuana.
Marijuana Use Top Finding in First Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse Report
June | National: In its first monthly report, the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse revealed that positive tests for marijuana far outpaced those for other drugs.
Rhode Island High Court Upholds ‘Reasonable Grounds’ Drug Testing, Dismissal of Employee
June | Rhode Island: The Rhode Island Supreme Court has ruled that an employer may terminate an employee for refusing to submit to a drug test based on reasonable suspicion.
Virginia Governor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Law Containing Employment-Related Provisions
June | Virginia: The governor of Virginia has signed legislation that decriminalizes simple marijuana possession and prohibits employers from requiring applicants to disclose information related to past criminal charges for possession.
Marijuana Use Tops Stats in First Report from U.S. Drug Clearinghouse
June | National: The first monthly report related to the FMCSA Clearinghouse indicates more positive tests for marijuana than other reported drugs.
Louisiana Expands Access to Medical Marijuana
June | Louisiana: A law was signed in Louisiana that amends the state’s medical marijuana laws to make it easier for patients to obtain medical marijuana.
New York City Commission on Human Rights Proposes Rules Addressing Exceptions to Prohibition on Pre-Employment Marijuana Screening
July | New York: A final rule was issued in New York City that clarifies the exception for positions for which marijuana or THC tests are permitted.
New Virginia Law Makes It a Crime to Inquire About Prior Convictions for Marijuana
July |Virginia: State lawmakers passed new legislation prohibiting prior marijuana convictions from barring employment, sealing records with a few exceptions.
Changing Marijuana Laws and Pre-Employment Drug Screening
August | National: Although marijuana remains illegal under federal law, many states have decriminalized it for recreational or medical purposes and those laws will continue to change.
Limitations on Pre-Employment Testing for Marijuana
August | New York: New York City laws regarding testing for marijuana and THC have been amended to exclude certain positions, such as those in safety-sensitive positions and others.
Delaware Court Upholds Denial of Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Medical Marijuana Costs
August | Delaware: The Delaware Superior Court ruled that an employer did not err by denying an employee’s claim for medical marijuana costs.
Marijuana Legalization Update for 2020: A Primer of the Latest Medicinal and Recreational Use News
September | National: The November elections serve as an opportunity to vote on marijuana legislation for both recreational and medical use, while removing it from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Proposes Guidelines for Hair Drug Testing
September | National: The SAMHSA, DHHS, proposed Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs Using Hair (HMG) in the Federal Register.
HR Quick Takes: Drug Testing Policy
September | Iowa: Employers in Iowa must follow strict guidelines when it comes to drug testing policies, even if an employer requests to be tested, to avoid severe penalties.
Suspension of Employee Based on Marijuana Odor and Positive Test Result Did Not Violate CBA
October | Michigan: A strong odor of marijuana was sufficient to constitute reasonable suspicion to test, and a positive drug test result constituted just cause for a 10-day suspension.
Federal Court Finds Implied Private Right of Action Under Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act
October | Pennsylvania: Claims of violations of PA’s MMA, presented by an employee, were dismissed by the court for failure to exhaust her administrative remedies.
Employee’s Request to Revise Drug Policy to Address CBD Use Was Not a Reasonable Accommodation
October | Tennessee: A lawsuit in which the plaintiff claimed her employer should have changed its drug policy to allow CBD use has been dismissed.
What Legal Protections Exist for Employees Who Use Medical Marijuana
October | National: Protections for employees who use cannabis under a doctor’s supervision differ widely by state, even with the Americans with Disabilities Act in place.
Voters in Five States Approve Marijuana Ballot Initiatives on Election Day
November | National: Voters in five states approved laws to legalize marijuana for either medicinal or recreational use.
Legalization of Recreational Marijuana in NJ: Voter Approved, But Not Yet in Effect
November | New Jersey: A ballot question regarding the legalization of marijuana, along with its cultivation, processing, and sale, passed by an overwhelming margin.
Comprehensive Written Job Descriptions Have Never Before Played a More Critical Role in Employment Drug Screening Compliance Than They Do Today — A Trend That Will Likely Continue in the Foreseeable Future
November | National: It is important for employers to ensure job descriptions are comprehensive and updated in response to the nation’s changing marijuana laws.
Pennsylvania Marijuana Update: Accommodations and Pre-Employment Testing
November | Pennsylvania: It has been determined that the PHRA nor the PFEOA require colleges and universities to accommodate medical marijuana use and that pre-employment testing for marijuana in Philadelphia will be restricted, except for certain positions.
Voters Legalize Marijuana, Employers Ask Questions
November | National: Changing marijuana laws have led to a significant amount of questions from employers who should update their workplace drug use and screening policies.
Arizona Passes Initiative to Allow Recreational Marijuana Use
November | Arizona: The Smart and Safe Arizona Act has been adopted by Arizona voters, legalizing the possession and use of marijuana by adults age 21 and older for recreational or non-medicinal use.
New Jersey Legalizes Recreational Cannabis: Potential Consequences for Employers
November | New Jersey: NJ citizens voted to amend the New Jersey Constitution to legalize cannabis for recreational use by adults older than 21 years of age.
Madison Takes ‘Pot’ Shot at Wisconsin, Joins Growing List of Municipalities to Decriminalize Cannabis
December | Wisconsin: An ordinance was passed in Madison, Wisc., decriminalizing the possession and use of small amounts of cannabis or cannabis derivatives within city limits.
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Denies Medical Marijuana Accommodation for Nursing Student
December | Pennsylvania: The PA Commonwealth Court held that PA’s MMA did not require a nursing school to accommodate a student’s use of medical marijuana.
PA Marijuana Update: Accommodations and Pre-Employment Testing
December | Pennsylvania: Two legal developments in Pennsylvania offer a bit of insight into the changing medical and recreational marijuana legislation.
Federal Drug Testing Program Unchanged Despite New State Marijuana Laws: SAMHSA Memo
December | National: A memo to federal drug program coordinators and federal medical review officers reminds them that the federal government’s Drug-Free Workplace Program has not changed, despite the legalization of marijuana in some states.