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Understanding Medical Marijuana in the Workplace

More and more people think that marijuana is legal in the state of Arizona, but it’s not a black and white issue.  There are shades of grey that could cause problems in the workplace.

Cannabis is considered a controlled substance under federal law, but Arizona allows it for medicinal purposes.  You must have a valid Medical Marijuana card to possess, sell and/or use cannabis.  Otherwise, if you fail a drug test at work, you can be terminated.

There are exceptions in the workplace that could cause a valid, card-carrying employee to be terminated.  For example:  

  • If an individual is suspected of being impaired at work, the employer may require a drug test.  In this circumstance, a positive test could result in termination.
  • Employees in safety-sensitive positions should not consume any controlled substance, whether it’s legal or not.  Medical Marijuana users who apply for safety-sensitive positions will be rejected even if they have a valid card.
  • Also, an employer with a federal contract could lose its service status for not complying with federal law since marijuana is considered a controlled substance under federal law.

Navigating the intricacies of Medical Marijuana in Arizona can be tricky.  

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