State trends have been leaning toward marijuana legalization for some years now, but illegality at the federal level keeps many employers testing for the substance. Legalization proponents now have a huge new supporter according to SHRM.
Amazon is dropping their marijuana screening except for jobs that are regulated by the Department of Transportation. Instead, use of the drug will be treated like alcohol use. Furthermore, they are throwing their support behind the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act, which is meant to legalize the drug federally.
So far, 36 states have legalized medical use and 16 have passed laws allowing recreational use. For multi-state corporations, this has led to some difficulties. Some states have workplace protections preventing employers from discriminating against people who use marijuana.
“As more states legalize marijuana use, companies with operations across multiple states will be forced to re-evaluate their workplace policies, as well as whether it is still practical to continue spending resources on drug testing,” said Michael Freimann, an attorney with Greenspoon Marder in Denver.
The bill passed the House in 2020, but died in the Senate. It has since been reintroduced. There is a second bill in the House that also legalizes marijuana, though differs in the finer details of removing prior criminal convictions.
We encourage you to read the full article on SHRM for details, as the current legal differences between states and what employers are allowed to do are quite complicated.