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Legal Marijuana, Drug-Free Workplaces On Collision Course

6.17.14

Danielle Urban was quoted in a CBS5AZ.com article about the challenges of marijuana legalization for those employers who want a drug-free workplace.

"Employers need to tell employees in advance that it's not a defense to say it's legal," Urban said of marijuana use. "They need to write a coherent policy to address it. Employers need to decide how to treat the issue and make sure policies address medical marijuana. Employers don't want to fire people."

Federal law still classifies marijuana use as illegal. However, other states have approved laws for marijuana use to treat medical conditions.

If a worker in Arizona is a medical user, the employer can't fire them for testing positive unless the person works in a safety-sensitive position, or in a federally supported job, she said.

In Minnesota, a user can't work impaired. Urban said the problem with determining impairment is there is no commercial method to test the condition. Urinalysis is used most often, but tests don't reveal if drugs were used hours before the test or three weeks earlier, she said.

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