Every employer in Ohio and surrounding states must now begin to develop workplace controls to fully address the legalization of marijuana in Ohio. To be most effective and legally defensible, these controls should be more expansive than simple revisions to current drug-free workplace and testing policies.
Key to these efforts is understanding that marijuana, medical or recreational, is still illegal under federal law. Ohio’s legalization does not provide a recognized legal defense to investigation or enforcement actions by the U.S. Department of Justice, but, should issue 3 pass into the state’s constitution, any type of regulation a company sets could be legally challenged by an employee if adverse employment action takes place.
Medical marijuana has been approved for use in other states for well over a decade now and these states’ courts have addressed the issue of whether an employee with a medical marijuana prescription has a cognizable legal claim after being fired for testing positive. The results have been extremely encouraging for employers. [Read more at Crain’s Cleveland Business]