Want to address medical marijuana in your work environment?

A number of employers are addressing the rapidly changing environment of medical marijuana laws in the United States by taking part in an assessment of their workplace drug policies.

Actually, most of these organizations are considering including stipulations in their policy that directly addresses medical (and sometimes recreational) marijuana use by employees.

If your organization is contemplating how to address the issue of medical marijuana, there are some best practice guidelines that can help maximize the effectiveness of your modified workplace drug policy:.

Determine if your organization is comfortable establishing a policy with exceptions.
During the initial phases of your policy review, your organization may have concluded that widely suiting medical marijuana users is inconsistent with the fundamental elements of your make-up.
You may, however, be obliged to conform to users in certain locations given the laws in those states. Since doing this could develop inconsistencies in your policy (e.g., taking adverse action based on a positive drug test for marijuana in every location but Arizona), your organization should analyze its own internal tolerance for managing these exceptions and communicating them to employees.

You may have determined that you do want to accommodate medical marijuana users, except for those in safety-sensitive positions. With this situation, exceptions would exist and your tolerance for these inconsistencies would have to be gauged.

Verify that your testing panel comprises the right drugs.

It could be in your best interest to remove cannabis from your testing panel if you have determined that you want to broadly accommodate recreational or medical marijuana users.
This could essentially help alleviate the adjudication of medical review officer (MRO) exemptions and make your testing program more cost-effective. With this situation, you should work directly with your employment counsel to determine if this action reflects your best interests and complies with federal, state, and local laws.

Topics: Drug Screening

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