Companies Tightening Cannabis Use Policies In Face of Legalization

As more and more states across the U.S. move toward the full legalization of cannabis — and even as the federal government loosens its grip on the illegality of the drug — a growing number of employers are enacting stricter substance abuse policies.

According to The Denver Post, the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently performed a first-of-its-kind survey about drug policies in states where cannabis is legal. The survey interviewed 623 HR representatives about their companies’ drug policies.

38% of the HR managers interviewed said their firms categorically reject applicants who claim they have medical reasons for using marijuana, and 6% said their firms exclude only those who use marijuana recreationally.

Everen Esen, the director of the SHRM’s survey division, said, “There is what I consider to be a significant number of employers that are saying they wouldn’t hire an employee that uses marijuana.”

Since workplace regulations fall under the jurisdiction of federal law, companies in states where cannabis is legal are free to maintain anti-marijuana use policies.

Regardless of such regulations, Esen said, “It doesn’t appear to be a really major problem. It doesn’t seem like employees are going out there and rampantly using marijuana in greater numbers than before.” Only 21% of employers surveyed said they had more than three marijuana policy violations this year.

Photo Credit: University of Liverpool Faculty of Health & Life Sciences


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