How Does Proposition 64 Affect the Drug Free Workplace?

California’s Proposition 64 passed in last night’s election.  You may be wondering what that means for the Drug Free Workplace. You may be surprised to hear that the answer is “not much”.  Proposition 64 legalizes the recreational use of marijuana in the state of California for persons aged 21 and older, however it does not change the federal classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug.  This means that California employers can still require pre-employment drug testing and enforce drug free workplace policies that may bar employment for marijuana users or terminate employees found to be under the influence of marijuana.

Marijuana users will still have to abide by many rules regarding where they can smoke, the quantity they can possess, as well as where they can legally possess marijuana.  It will still be illegal to smoke marijuana while driving a vehicle, in any public place and anywhere that smoking tobacco is illegal.

California employers should review their companies drug policy and make sure that it is up to date and that marijuana is addressed in the policy.  Proposition 64 does not give marijuana users any new rights in the workplace and employers with drug free workplace policies that include marijuana use are still protected under federal law.  It is completely in the hands of the California employer if they want to continue to treat marijuana as the Schedule I drug that it is classified as federally or if they want to change their policy on it.

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