The Old Rules Go Up in Smoke

People 21 and older now can legally enjoy marijuana for recreational purposes in 10 states, as well as Washington, D.C. Thirty-three states now are also permitting the use of cannabis for medical purposes. Businesses, especially those with a multistate workforce, are forced to rethink current attitudes regarding the acceptance of marijuana use and should be examining current policies. Key points? Employers in the United States still are able to set workplace rules and standards, as long as they are not discriminatory, and, therefore, can still just say no. With that being said, most workers must be allowed to take medical pot just as they would any other legal drug for approved conditions. While marijuana remains a Schedule 1 drug at the federal level, states have taken measures to ensure employees are protected from federal law. Some companies are also moving away from drug testing. Peter Cappelli, director of the Center for Human Resources at the Wharton School, has pointed out that it seems strange to make someone’s marijuana use more important their job skills, challenging employers to consider why they would test for marijuana, but not alcohol, which also causes impaired behavior.

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