Employers in States Where Marijuana is Legal Toughen Up Drug Policies: Survey

Employers in States Where Marijuana is Legal Toughen Up Drug Policies: Survey

Managers in states where marijuana is legal are toughening up their drug policies, according to a new survey.

Many employers in these states say they will not hire employees who smoke marijuana on their own time, Bloomberg Business reports.

The survey, conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), included responses from 623 human resources managers in states where marijuana is legal.

Almost half of the managers said they have policies, or plan to implement them, that restrict employing people who use marijuana. The survey found 38 percent said they will not hire people who use marijuana, even if it is for medical reasons. Six percent said their policy excludes only those who smoke marijuana for recreational reasons.

“There is what I consider to be a significant number of employers that are saying they wouldn’t hire an employee that uses marijuana,” said Evren Esen, Director of Survey Programs at SHRM.

In June, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that employees in the state can be fired for using marijuana off the job. The case involved a paralyzed customer service worker who uses medical marijuana to help treat painful spasms resulting from a car accident.

The case had been closely followed by employers and marijuana advocates. A growing number of states are approving medical or recreational use of marijuana, but the drug remains illegal under federal law.

The lawsuit was brought by Brandon Coats, who was fired by Dish Network after testing positive for marijuana. Coats has a state-issued medical marijuana license. He said he never used marijuana on the job, and argued Dish Network’s policy violated a state law that bans companies from firing employees for off-duty, lawful activities.

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