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Maintaining a Safe Workplace in the Face of Rising Medical and Recreational Marijuana Use

08.17.2018
Topic Worker Safety

Drug free zone sign

August 2018 - As more states loosen laws regarding criminal penalties related to marijuana, the percentage of Americans in favor of legalization trends upward; in line with liberalized laws and more legal means of obtaining marijuana, usage has likewise increased.

Employers find themselves in a balancing act. Employers may wish to treat medical marijuana users as any other employee taking medication by prescription, or to try and adapt their drug testing culture to a workforce that may engage in recreational marijuana use outside of work. But employers may also wish to continue enforcement of zero tolerance policies, regardless of state law – particularly if they are in a federally regulated industry and must tread carefully as federal law still prohibits marijuana.

Best practices are evolving along with improved testing and social acceptance – weighed against maintaining proper safety culture. This brief looks at the overall landscape to help you make better decisions for your workplace.

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