Some 23 states have legalized medical marijuana, four plus the District of Columbia have legalized the drug for recreational use. This growth in the marijuana industry creates two sets of problems for employers: increased marijuana use – and all the costs this brings in the form of accidents and lost productivity – and costly litigation.
Employers face costly litigation as case law surrounding legal marijuana develops. There are several things employers can do to protect themselves.
1) Stay up to date with the changing legal landscape and adjust your workplace policies accordingly.
2) Remember that marijuana is still illegal under federal law.
3) Band together with other employers to monitor state legislation.
4) Take action with legislators to ensure workplace protections are included in any marijuana laws.
5) Educate your workforce about the dangers marijuana poses to children, families, and the workplace.
6) Challenge the notion that marijuana is medicine, or you may soon be paying for it in your health insurance program. No marijuana medicines being sold in states that legalized them have been approved by FDA as pure, safe, or effective. Doctors cannot prescribe them and pharmacies cannot sell them.