What can employers do if their employees have a valid prescription for medical marijuana or if recreational pot becomes legal? There’s an interesting article on NJSpotlight dealing with that question. Will employers still be able to drug test for marijuana? The answer is almost always “yes.” Since marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, any employee subject to federal regulations cannot use marijuana on the job or have any in their system.

On the state level, according to NJSpotlight, New Jersey’s medical marijuana law explicitly states that no employer has to "accommodate even those with a valid medical cannabis ID card from the New Jersey Department of Health.” So that if your employer has a strict no-weed policy and you violate it, you can get fired even with a valid medical card.

There will almost certainly be lawsuits that will help shape employers practices, though. If someone is applying for a job and is required to take a drug test and fails because of medical marijuana and subsequently doesn’t get the job, can that person sue for discrimination based on the underlying medical condition? Also, most private sector employers are not allowed to randomly drug test; the exceptions are for “safety sensitive” jobs, such as truck driving. We’ll have to wait for the final legislation for recreational marijuana to see if it addresses these issues.

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