As the legalization of marijuana for both recreational and medical purposes picks up speed across numerous states, employers must understand the legal and relevant developments. Furthermore, organizations must also take into consideration the drug’s effects on employees’ ability to function, drive, and work.
In this blog, we’ll list a number of vital considerations employers need to know regarding the use of marijuana in the workplace.
Legal Issues Linked with Marijuana
Under federal law, all use of marijuana is still illegal. It is classified as a Schedule I drug according to the Controlled Substances Act, which basically means that it’s recognized for its high potential for abuse and no real medical value.
Many activists have lobbied for the rescheduling of the drug but there aren’t enough massive-scale clinical trials to prove that the benefits of the drug outweigh its risks, as stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
According to the Washington Post, the DEA refused to classify marijuana as a Schedule II drug which would have made it legal to use for medical purposes.
Effects of Marijuana
The controversy over cannabis is a highly politicized one. However, there have been numerous calls forcing employers to place legal, ethical, and moral boundaries in the workplace. The call against the use of the drug at work stems from a number of worrying statistics posted by the National Safety Councilwhich include:
- Marijuana used today is around 10 to 20 times much stronger than what it was 60-70 years ago
- Marijuana is addictive
- Between 2010 and 2013, car accidents that involved marijuana shot up by 300%, a number that continues to grow with the legalization of the drug across the country.
Effects of Marijuana in the Workplace
THC, a substance found in marijuana, is known to affect reaction time, depth perception, motor skills, coordination, and leads to sensory distortion. According to a study carried out the by National Institute on Drug Abuse, employees that tested positive for marijuana experienced 75% greater absenteeism, 85% more injuries, and 55% more industrial accidents.
Use of the drug was also led to:
- Higher turnover rates
- Decreased Productivity
- Increased unemployment compensation and worker compensation claims
All in all, when it comes to using marijuana within the workplace, employers must set clear boundaries if they wish to counter decreased employee performance. HRBP Online is an HR Consultancy for small businesses that helps organizations set up an HR department and formulate proper laws. Contact us today for more information.