Ohio is soon to be the latest state to be added to the list of states that permit medical marijuana to be legalized. However, as is to be expected, businesses have come together to lobby for an exception to these medical marijuana rules as they pertain to businesses that promote a drug-free workplace. These businesses want to be allowed the capability to pursue adverse action against those employees (current and soon-to-be) who use marijuana for medical reasons.
In response, it has been established that those employers who want to prohibit their staff from using medical marijuana, either on or off the clock, or those employers who want to deny employment opportunities for candidates who come up positive for medical marijuana in a pre-employment drug test, must either establish a drug-free policy if they don’t already have one in effect or, if they do, then they must revise their current policies to include their stance on marijuana use, being sure to mention medical marijuana specifically in said policy.
Further, employers who take advantage of the state fund to provide workers’ compensation insurance can actually enjoy lower premiums by establishing drug-free workplace programs that test their current and potentially future employees for marijuana, as well as other drugs like cocaine, methamphetamines, PCP, and opiates.
In light of the fact that medical marijuana will soon be legalized in Ohio, some important points have been brought to the forefront to both inform and remind employers of their rights with regard to establishing and upholding drug-free workplace policies:
The new law, H.B. 523, allows for people suffering from the following conditions to be permitted a prescription for medical marijuana:
While the most common way to take marijuana is to smoke it, medical marijuana is only allowed in certain forms, and a joint is not one of them. Those interested in obtaining a prescription for medical marijuana can only take it in the accepted forms, such as in edibles or via vaporizers.
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