Changing State Marijuana Laws Shake Up Drug Policies At Hospitals
Kevin Troutman was quoted in an article published in the April edition of Healthcare Risk Management.
Changing marijuana laws are raising questions about hospital policies on drug use. Risk managers are advised to assess their current policies, but you still can prohibit drug use, according to the article.
- Legalization does not mean you have to allow marijuana use during work hours.
- In many cases, a hospital can prohibit off-duty use as well.
- Medicinal marijuana use might be protected more than recreational use.
State law can vary widely and could influence how hospitals address the situation, said Kevin. He noted that some hospitals prevent tobacco use by employees, even off duty, but some states prohibit that policy.
"If you are able to prevent marijuana use, you can expect some level of pushback from employees," he said. "Your response should be that even with legal substances, you can establish a threshold at which you determine the usage affects job performance and amounts to a violation of your drug policy. The hospital is within its rights to set a low bar for the use of marijuana on the grounds that its use can affect performance and safety."