With several states voting on the legalization of marijuana this November, you’ll want to prepare your employee policy in case it passes in your state. As we stated in Employee Marijuana Use: Companies Still Have a Say, “so long as marijuana is deemed illegal under federal statues employers are within their rights to take action against employees, and even applicants”. While the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a memorandum also siding with federal law in 2015, as marijuana becomes legalized in more states, you might want to include language in your employee policy that further protects your company.
Last year Colorado made national headlines for adopting a statewide policy allowing sales of marijuana to the general public without a medical necessity. In June 2015, Colorado made headlines again setting precedence for employers who don’t condone employees having THC, the primary chemical found marijuana, in their system.
The Colorado Supreme Court ruled in favor of an employer who had terminated an employee based on medical marijuana use during non-business hours. The case took into account both the state’s legal standing on the drug as well as the plaintiff’s medical requirements and still sided in favor of the employer.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a memorandum December 29, 2014 regarding the classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The memorandum states that the manufacture, distribution or possession of marijuana is illegal under federal law even if it is permitted under state law for medical or recreational purpose.