TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Recreational marijuana is legal in Arizona now but smoking it could still cost you your job----Here’s some advice from an employment law attorney on how legal pot figures into the workplace.
Drinking alcohol is legal for adults but you still can’t come to work under the influence. Employment law attorney Ivelisse Bonilla says that applies to legal marijuana too.
Here’s an extra complication: alcohol can be out of your system in a few hours. A drug test can find signs of marijuana use several days after the last time you indulged.
Bonilla says, “There are employers who can say, based on the drug test result, we believe you're impaired, and you were working under the influence. Not only that, you have employers that are federal contractors, and we cannot forget that, that's still not allowed under federal law. So if you're an employer that is a federal contractor, you still cannot allow employees to use any type of drugs.”
Bonilla says even if you have a medical marijuana card an employer can still take steps to be sure medical marijuana hasn’t impaired your ability to work safely just as a boss can take steps to be sure any legal prescription has not affected your work.
She says you should avoid using even legal marijuana if you’re in the type of business that will be especially sensitive about drug use and aggressive about drug tests.
“Any employees in the transportation business. They cannot be consuming drugs, you may be allowed under Arizona law recreationally, but your job, you cannot have any type of drugs in your body if you're driving right.”
Her advice for bosses is to write out a very specific drug policy and for workers to understand exactly what that policy requires.