How Does the New “Medical Marijuana” Law Affect Employers?

The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act is going into effect on April 15, 2011. The Act permits a “qualifying patient” with a “debilitating medical circumstance” to reap a registry identification card from the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). Cardholders can obtain an allowable amount of marijuana from a registered non-earnings scientific marijuana dispensary and use the marijuana to deal with or alleviate certain clinical conditions. A “qualifying affected person” needs to be recognized through, and acquire written certification from a health practitioner. The Arizona regulation does now not regulate marijuana’s fame as an illegal drug underneath federal law Buy cartridges online.

The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act is now blanketed inside the Arizona legal guidelines as A.R.S. 36-2801 et seq. The ADHS is the designated employer that has been assigned to create, undertake and enforce a regulatory system for the distribution of marijuana for scientific use, the setting up of authorized dispensaries and the issuance of identity cards.

How does the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act have an effect on employers? Employers cannot discriminate against a person in hiring, terminating or enforcing any term or situation of employment or in any other case penalize a person primarily based on either; (1) the person’s popularity as a cardholder, or (2) a registered qualifying affected person’s high quality drug check for marijuana additives or metabolites, except the patient used, possessed or turned into impaired by means of marijuana at the premises of the place of employment or all through the hours of employment.

While handiest a qualifying patient can also use scientific marijuana, other people can also be cardholders challenge to protection from discrimination together with (1) the qualifying affected person, (2) a delegated caregiver or (three) a certified non-profit scientific marijuana dispensary agent.

The Act does create restricted exceptions to anti-discrimination provisions. First, there may be an exception for employers who would, “lose a economic or licensing related benefit beneath federal law or guidelines.” Second, an enterprise isn’t always required to lease or continue to employ a registered qualifying patient who tests high quality for marijuana if the affected person used the marijuana at the organization’s premises or during hours of employment.

The Act does no longer permit personnel to use marijuana on the workplace or at some stage in work hours. The Act does no longer authorize any individual to adopt any assignment beneath the affect of marijuana that could represent negligence or professional malpractice. The Act in particular forbids any person to operate motor motors who can be impaired with the aid of enough quantities of marijuana components or metabolites. Thus, employers may also nevertheless take action against personnel who use marijuana inside the administrative center or who paintings beneath the impact of marijuana.

Many of you may be asking yourself, “Can’t marijuana be detected in urine tests for several days and even numerous weeks?” The solution is “yes,” however, the regulation reads, “the registered qualifying affected person shall no longer be considered to be below the have an impact on of marijuana completely because of the presence of metabolites or components of marijuana that appear in insufficient attention to purpose impairment.” A.R.S. 36-2814(A)(three)

So how does an employer or the ADHS define impairment? Unfortunately, the Act does not outline “impairment” or “beneath the have an impact on.” Based on the statute, the mere presence of some degree of metabolites or additives of marijuana inside the system isn’t always enough. Employers will must grow to be extra astute at spotting and documenting behaviors and signs of marijuana impairment.

Fortunately, for employers, Arizona based business enterprise corporations together with the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, approached the Arizona State Legislature concerning the vague and ambiguous language concerning “impairment.” This induced the State House of Representatives to offer and skip House Bill 2541 which basically permits employers to make use of similar guidelines which might be observed in “affordable suspicion” guidelines. The bill has been despatched to the State Senate for a vote (watch our weblog for the outcome).

The first-rate practices approach for any commercial enterprise is to have in vicinity a drug and alcohol policy that includes at a minimum “submit accident” and “affordable suspicion” testing. The other types of drug trying out consist of pre-employment and random. Employers need to record any determined conduct, behavior or appearance that is seemingly altering the worker’s job overall performance or endangering others in the place of business.

If you’ve got any extra questions about how the brand new Arizona Medical Marijuana regulation affects your commercial enterprise, please touch us on our website OneSource Employer Services.