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

The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act goes into effect on April fifteen, 2011. The Act enables a “qualifying patient” with a “debilitating medical condition” to obtain a registry identification card on the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). Cardholders are able to obtain an allowable amount of marijuana from a registered non profit medical marijuana dispensary and make use of the marijuana to treat or even alleviate certain medical conditions. A “qualifying patient” has to be diagnosed by, and have written certification from a doctor. The Arizona law doesn’t alter marijuana’s condition as an illegal drug under federal law.

The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act is today provided in the Arizona laws and regulations as A.R.S. 36-2801 et seq. The ADHS is the designated agency that has been given to create, abide by and implement a regulatory system for the distribution of marijuana for medical use, the setting up of approved dispensaries and the issuance of identification cards.

So how does the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act impact employers? Employers can’t discriminate against a person in hiring, terminating or imposing any condition or term of employment or perhaps otherwise penalize an individual based on either; (1) the person’s status as a cardholder, or even (two) a registered qualifying patient’s positive drug test for marijuana pieces or even metabolites, unless the patient used, possessed or was weakened by marijuana on the premises of the place of work or during the days of employment.

While only a qualifying client could use medical marijuana, others may also be cardholders at the mercy of shield from discrimination including (1) the qualifying patient, (2) a designated caregiver or (three) an authorized non-profit medical marijuana dispensary agent.


The Act does create 2 limited exceptions to anti discrimination provisions. To begin with, there’s an exception for employers who’d, “lose a monetary or licensing related advantage under federal law or even regulations.” Second, an employer isn’t necessary to hire or carry on and use a registered qualifying patient who tests positive for marijuana in case the patient used the marijuana on the employer’s premises or during hours of employment.

The Act does not allow workers to make use of marijuana at your office or even during work hours. The Act does not authorize some person to undertake some activity under the influence of marijuana which would constitute negligence or even professional malpractice. The Act specifically forbids any person to operate motor vehicles who may be weakened by adequate volumes of marijuana components or perhaps metabolites. Hence, employers may really take action against employees which use marijuana in the workplace or perhaps who work under the influence of marijuana.

Quite a lot of you may possibly be thinking about, “Can’t marijuana be identified in urine tests for a handful of days and also some weeks?” The answer is “yes,” however, the law reads, “the registered qualifying patient shan’t be regarded as being underneath the influence of marijuana solely because of the presence of components or metabolites of marijuana which often appear in not enough concentration to cause impairment.” Cbd olie kopen .R.S. 36-2814(A)(3)

So just how does the ADHS or an employer define impairment? Unfortunately, the Act does not define “impairment” or “under the influence.” Based on the statute, the simple presence of some degree of components or metabolites of marijuana in the system is not sufficient. Employers will have to become much more astute at recognizing and documenting signs and behaviors of marijuana impairment.

Thankfully, for companies, Arizona dependent employer organizations including the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, approached the Arizona State Legislature regarding the ambiguous and vague language with regards to “impairment.” This prompted the State House of Representatives to present and successfully pass House Bill 2541 which essentially allows employers to make use of similar guidelines which are found in “reasonable suspicion” policies. The bill has been sent to the State Senate for a vote (watch our blog for the outcome).

The best practices approach for any business will be to have on hand a medication and alcohol policy which includes for a minimum “post accident” and “reasonable suspicion” tests. The additional kinds of drug testing include pre-employment and random. Companies need to write down any kind of observed conduct, behavior or appearance which is seemingly changing the employee’s job performance or endangering others in the workplace.

The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act goes into effect on April fifteen, 2011. The Act enables a “qualifying patient” with a “debilitating medical condition” to obtain a registry identification card on the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). Cardholders are able to obtain an allowable amount of marijuana from a registered non profit medical marijuana dispensary…

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