August 13, 2014 Articles

The Impact of Medical Marijuana in the Workplace

Medical-marijuana laws are reaching new highs.

By Sarah C. Matt – August 13, 2014

On July 7, 2014, New York became the twenty-third state, along with the District of Columbia, to enact legislation allowing for a comprehensive medical-marijuana and cannabis program and legalizing the use, possession, manufacture, and distribution of marijuana for medical purposes.

Although these same activities remain unlawful under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), as marijuana continues to be classified as a Schedule I drug—listed among those other drugs that are considered to have the highest potential for abuse and no accepted medical use—an increasing number of states are enacting medical-marijuana laws and establishing comprehensive medical-marijuana programs that provide direct access to the drug. The rise in state medical-marijuana laws, and the resulting increased use of medical marijuana among state citizens, is causing growing concern for both employers and employees struggling to understand how these laws will impact the workplace and workplace policies and procedures.

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