Weed Is Legalized in California But Employers Can Still Keep a Drug-Free Workplace

On November 8, 2016, Proposition 64, also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 years old and older. On January 1, 2018, licensed recreational marijuana sales were allowed. However, Proposition 64 is not intended to affect or impact a company’s original workplace policies.

Employer policies that include drug possession, use and impairment, and testing, are not required to compromise with the legalization of marijuana use under Proposition 64. Thus, even with the updated principles, employers may continue to prohibit use, possession, and impairment at work.

However, it’s important for employers to understand that drug testing may only be used when appropriate. Pre-employment drug testing should be done only after a conditional job offer has been made. Unless under special circumstances such as reasonable suspicion, employers are not permitted to conduct a drug test once the employee has started the job.

Employers should review existing policies in their handbooks, remind employees about the company’s drug-free workplace practices, and specify that marijuana is prohibited in the workplace.

Here at JH Consulting, we offer high-quality and valuable services to fit your company’s needs. Feel free to contact us if you would like assistance with updating your employees’ handbook or your company’s policies and procedures or to learn more about reasonable suspicion testing and drug or alcohol abuse at the workplace.