No question, marijuana laws won’t change for these jobs
will be able to legally use marijuana recreationally. In addition, Measure 91 will allow individuals to possess up to eight ounces of cannabis legally, carry one ounce publicly, and grow up to four cannabis plants at their home. But that doesn’t mean that employers are on board. Until July, all marijuana use including medical marijuana is illegal in the state, but once the new law becomes active, employers will still not be required to update their drug policies. At some businesses, employees can expect no leniency when it comes to a failed drug test, even after the drug is declared legal and if the employee has a prescription. Individuals who utilize the drug recreationally or medically during non-working hours can still fail a drug test at work, and in the state of Oregon, employees can be terminated for almost any reason, provided they are not protected by a union. It will be up to the individual employer to determine how to handle a failed drug test. This subject was brought up in a 2010 Oregon Supreme Court case (Emerald Steel Fabricators v. Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries), in which the court ruled that it is not disability discrimination to fire or refuse to hire someone that uses medical marijuana, because federal law bans the use of the drug. It is expected that the state courts may see some challenges to that ruling over the coming years. “So long as marijuana is criminalized under federal law, the argument about whether you can be fired for your off-the-job use doesn’t go very far,” said Portland employment attorney Michael Rose. Those who are employed by the federal government and those who work under federal contracts are, and will continue to be, governed under zero-tolerance drug policies mandated by the government, since federal law does not recognize pot legality regardless of the state’s stance. Other jobs that require employee sobriety, such as those in the transportation and manufacturing industries, may also require employees to continue to follow zero-tolerance policies.]]>
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