The general election has come and gone and while many of us are looking to move forward with the passing of 12 state ballot measures, many have questions on the impact of these measures. One of the most notable measures is Proposition 64 which passed with 56.1% of the votes now legalizing marijuana in the state of California. A “yes” vote for proposition 64 means adults 21 years of age or older can legally grow, possess, and use marijuana for nonmedical purposes, with certain restrictions. Many employers and employees are wondering how this will impact workplace drug policies, such as a drug-free workplace or safe operating practices.
Well, it really won’t. Just as the consumption of alcohol is legal for adults 21 years of age and older, it does not give an employee the right to be under the influence of alcohol at work and/or while operating heavy machinery or a motor vehicle (above the limit). This is the same with marijuana. Under Federal law, marijuana continues to be classified as a Schedule 1 substance and is illegal. Additionally, Proposition 64 is not intended to force public and private employers to allow for recreational use at work. All-in-all a drug and alcohol free workplace can still be required and afforded to employees in the State of California. As questions or issues arise pertaining to the legalization of marijuana, it is important to contact your Human Resources department to discuss specific concerns and to get proper guidance. For more information on Proposition 64 visit the Secretary of State’s website at sos.ca.gov.
United Staffing Associates, LLC continues to maintain a workplace free from drugs and alcohol in line with our safety-first culture.