With the passing of Proposition 64 there are many Californians who are excited about being able to legally use marijuana. After years of prohibition, both in California and across the country, millions of adults no longer must worry about being punished, and potentially thrown in jail for using the drug. In respect to reducing state prison and jail populations, Prop. 64 should be considered a step in the right direction; however, California adults should take time to apprise themselves with the law and how it applies to the workplace.
It is not uncommon for employers to drug test their employees to ensure workplace safety, especially in certain industries that involve the use of heavy equipment. Being under the influence of any mind-altering substances can jeopardize the well-being of everyone. That being said, regardless of which field someone works in, it is generally accepted as being OK for employees to drink alcohol when not at work. What they do in their own time is none of an employer’s business. Even if an employer tested employees for alcohol, the substance will not show up after 12 hours, give or take. The same cannot be said for marijuana.
Clearly, regardless of the drug being legal, employers can’t have employees “high” on the job. But even if someone isn’t high on the job that doesn’t mean they won’t fail a urine analysis (UA). It goes without saying, this reality is an issue that must be addressed, sooner rather than later. In fact, Prop 64 lacks anything about how employers are to handle the changing tide regarding marijuana, CBS Sacramento reports. “Under the influence” and “in one’s system” are not the same thing, but both can get you fired, according to attorney Barbara Cotter.
“The employer has the right to say we want productivity at work. We want a safe workplace and were not going to allow anyone under the influence of any intoxicating drugs or substances in the workplace.”
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Ronald G. Brower is a criminal defense attorney in Southern California. Based out of Orange County, Attorney Brower has represented individuals charged with crimes in state and federal court.
Contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower online or by telephone at 714-997-4400.