Legal Marijuana Still Not Acceptable in the Workplace

A state task force in Colorado endorsed employers continuing to fire workers for off-the-job marijuana use under a policy on earlier this month.

Amendment 64 passed in Colorado legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. The task force was divided on the policy allowing the status quo in employer-employee relationships to remain the same. Dissenting members of the task force argued that Amendment 64 changed the status quo giving marijuana users the same protection as those who use alcohol.

Christian Sederberg, a drafter of the amendment, argues for a more incremental approach to legalization, "We intended to leave employers to have their own policies on these issues."

Liberty's drug testing partners have indicated their researchers have ramped up efforts to find solutions to test for marijuana much the way alcohol is being tested for today. People may drink alcohol off the job and come to duty; if tested, they would pass because they weren't intoxicated at work. Marijuana users are afforded no such treatments at the tests reveal metabolites from a much longer time-frame. If labs were able to test for users under the influence of marijuana at the time, it is possible that employers would be required to alter the status quo.

The task force meets again on Feb. 19.

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