What impact will the Arizona recreational marijuana law have on employers if it is passed by voters in November?
Four states (AL, OR, WA, CO) and the District of Columbia have passed recreational marijuana laws. 23 states and DC have passed medical marijuana laws. Federal law classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug with DOT/HHS prohibitions. Another Federal law, the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), does not require accommodation unless marijuana use is associated with a serious health condition. Private employees are not protected under Federal law. Are you doing business with a Federal agency, or with a state or local government receiving Federal funding? Is so, you are likely required to follow Federal law.
Some points under the Arizona proposed 32-page ballot petition are:
1) There are no restrictions on employer or landlord policies.
2) A state regulating Marijuana Department and Commission is created.
3) Creates restrictions on the ability of local government to deny licensing of a marijuana establishment.
4) Selling or giving to minors is illegal (<21).
5) Personal possession of up to 1 oz. or 5 grams of concentrated marijuana is allowed.
6) You can grow up to 12 plants and transport or process up to 6 plants at a time.
7) Prohibits operating a motorized vehicle while impaired.
8) THERE ARE NO IMPAIRMENT STANDARDS ESTABLISHED.
9) Establishes licensing requirements for production, lab and retail sales.
10) Performing a task while impaired could constitute negligence or professional malpractice. Hard to prove with no impairment standards.
11) Creates a 15% tax on retail sales. Goes to local governments where a facility is established, Marijuana Department costs, K-12 public and charter schools, full-day Kindergarten and the Arizona Department of Health Services Poison and Drug Control programs.
12) The state may not penalize an individual under the influence solely because their body contains the metabolites of marijuana.
13) The use of marijuana may not be considered in child custody cases.
Statistics show that in Colorado and Washinton marijuana positive drug test results increased over 20% after recreational marijuana was legalized. If this petition get on the ballot (petitions are turned in by July 1) and is passed by voters in November, employers will need to update their HR policies and substance abuse programs to reflect the new law. Please read the petition. It can be found at: https://www.regulatemarijuanainarizona.org/initiative-text/
Tim Terrill – Owner, ARCpoint Labs of Scottsdale North