Magazine article HRMagazine

Reefer Sanity

Magazine article HRMagazine

Reefer Sanity

Article excerpt

Are HR professionals prepared to address the implications of legal pot? The numbers suggest that many are not. While nearly 90 percent of organizations have substance abuse policies in place in states where marijuana is legal, almost three-quarters have not modified their rules since the laws changed, according to the results of the Society for Human Resource Management's Policies for Marijuana Use in the Workplace survey.

Attitudes toward occasional marijuana use appear to be relaxing across the country, especially among members of the Millennial generation. The views of this large and influential group are likely to affect many state reform laws and even workplace policies in coming years.

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized medical marijuana. Four states and D.C. allow recreational use. As the move toward legalization grows, HR professionals will be expected to remain upto-date on the laws and to adjust their policies in response as necessary. For example, they may need to clarify that, even if their organizations do business in states where the substance is legal, employee use remains prohibited.

But even a blanket ban might not be so clear-cut. Some states, including Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada and New York, require accommodations for registered medical marijuana users. Still, only 14 percent of employers that operate in states where the drug is legal in some form have policies that permit medical use.

State laws could also affect how HR handles drug testing-both before and during employment. …

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