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In the Weeds: Voters Say Yes to Legalized Marijuana

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Human Resources professionals with applicants or employees in several states should review newly passed marijuana legislation to determine whether they need to update their drug screening programs. Voters opted to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota. South Dakota, along with Mississippi, also passed legislation for medicinal marijuana.


Arizona said yes to Proposition 207, which allows adults aged twenty-one and older to use marijuana in a responsible way. The law specifically states that Arizona employers retain the right to enforce drug-and-alcohol-free workplaces. Montana’s Initiative I-190 similarly allows use of recreational marijuana in limited amounts for adults over the age of twenty-one. It also will allow courts to reduce sentences for or expunge certain marijuana-related records. Montana employers are not required to permit use of marijuana among other clarifications referred to in the law. Similarly, New Jersey also approved recreational marijuana use for adults over twenty-one under its Public Question 1, and South Dakota took the same action under its Constitutional Amendment A.


Along with legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes, South Dakota also approved its use for medical purposes under Initiated Measure 26. South Dakota employers are not required to permit medical marijuana’s use and continue to have the right to restrict its use. Under Mississippi’s Initiative 65, marijuana use is permitted for qualified persons who have a debilitating medical condition. However, the initiative does not require employers to accommodate its use or allow its use on-site.


Because six laws related to marijuana passed in the recent election, AccuSource will cover the specifics of these laws during our end-of-year webinar in December. However, the willingness of voters to approve marijuana legalization shows that it is here to stay. Employers that have not yet been impacted by legal marijuana may consider being proactive and review their programs with the assumption that their state will legalize weed in the coming years. If you would like AccuSource to provide a complimentary review of your current background screening compliance program, please contact us at marketing@accusource-online.com.

 

Jennifer Daimon, Esq. | CIPM

Jennifer Daimon, Esq. | CIPM

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