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New marijuana law could create employment discrimination disputes

In the past few years, medical and recreational marijuana use has become legal in many states. Rapidly changing laws that vary between states have created many legal issues and span a variety of different areas of the law. The decision that California lawmakers make in this matter could result in employment discrimination disputes.

According to a recent report, both California and a neighboring state have marijuana legalization measures appearing on November ballots. In both cases, these measures eliminate legal penalties for those who possess a quantity of cannabis of an ounce or less, which will be considered as purposed for personal use. In these proposed laws, local governments will retain the ability to enforce locally passed laws pertaining to the growth and sales of marijuana.

Thus far, however, there has not been definitive discussion as to how companies can deal with employees who use legal cannabis. Many believe that if a drug is approved for use, such as alcohol or tobacco, employees may have the right to have a certain amount present in their systems if tested by their employers. However, alcohol, tobacco and nicotine leave a person's system within hours of consumption. Conversely, the tests used for THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) can detect usage for weeks and months after consumption.

This issue has caused employment discrimination disputes throughout the country. As California faces this important milestone in its legal history, employment discrimination will most likely occur if and when the measure passes. Those facing such a situation could be best served by seeking the advice of an experienced employment law attorney. Attorneys who practices in this area of law can assist in guiding their clients in the best legal recourses to ensure their rights are protected.

Source: tahoedailytribune.com, "Marijuana in front of voters in California, Nevada", Adam Jensen, July 9,2016

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