Legal Pot Debuts in Midwest

Jason Morris

marijuana1As Michigan’s medical marijuana law takes full effect next month, sufferers of chronic pain and other ailments cheer while police predict problems!

Well this one is sure to get a lot of comments!  This is an issue that employers have been seeing in California for several years now.  The purpose of this post is not to debate the merits of legalizing marijuana. The point begs the question; what does an employer do?  Most employers now run background checks as part of their pre-employment screening process.  Many employers utilize substance abuse testing or ‘drug screening’ as part of that process.  If pot becomes legal, what does an employer do?  Keep in mind, if a state legalizes its use, Federal Law still overrules it. See excerpt below and full article following:

And, despite the imprimatur of legality from the state of Michigan, there is nothing in the law to protect medical marijuana patients from being dismissed by their employer for using marijuana.

Ron Stephens lost his job in 2007 after a urine test detected marijuana. Stephens, 50, suffers from depression and a chronic neck disorder that limits his neck, shoulder and arm movements. He’s undergone a spinal fusion operation, has lost the use of his right hand and cannot sit for more than 10 or 15 minutes. He spent a decade taking prescribed painkillers, including Vicodin, Percocet, and the synthetic narcotic methadone, which he took for two years.

“Somehow it was OK for me to show up for work with all those drugs in me,” said Stephens, who asked that his hometown not be identified. “Marijuana carries such a stigma. It’s so … stupid.”

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Jason Morris

President & Chief Operating Officer at EmployeeScreenIQ
A veteran screening and risk management professional, Jason Morris founded EmployeeScreenIQ in 1999 and acts as the company’s chief operating officer and president. Morris is a frequent speaker delivering captivating, interactive discussions on background checks, global screening, recruitment and staffing. He educates audiences in best practice initiatives as they relate to organizational employment screening programs. Morris has been quoted in numerous business and industry publications including The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC.com, USA Today, New York Times, among others. He is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.
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