As marijuana gains a lot of legal ground in the United States, there are still some blurry lines and gray areas where employment and marijuana are concerned.
Just because cannabis is gaining a greater legalized footing in many states doesn’t mean that employers can’t still test for it and adopt employment policies that prohibit its use as a requirement for employment.
In other words, in many states, employers can still test for marijuana use—and sometimes this can affect your employment.
Veriheal wrote an awesome blog post on this topic. Here’s how they describe it:
“Job hunting is a headache for anyone, but drug tests make the process even more cumbersome for those who consume cannabis. Despite the growing acceptance and legalization of cannabis, many major corporations still drug test their employees for THC, the main compound in the plant.”
With that being said, here are 3 things that you really need to know in regard to marijuana, the workplace, and how you can navigate this difficult situation.
1. It’s Crucial To Learn Your Workplace’s Cannabis Policies
Every workplace is going to have some kind of policy on cannabis use.
Some companies just don’t want you to show up being too high to perform your duties.
Obviously, trying to operate heavy machinery or drive while under the influence of a psychoactive cannabinoid like THC can have dangerous effects for everyone involved.
However, sometimes, these companies don’t care what you do in your personal time, and rarely test for drugs like THC—if ever.
Sometimes, companies like this will pretty much give you any leeway you might need to enjoy doing whatever you want to do on your off time—and as long as you show up for work ready to work in an unaltered state of mind, you’re pretty much good to go.
2. Some Companies Still Test For Marijuana On A Regular Basis
With that being said, there are also some companies that really take this THC thing seriously.
Such companies may test regularly for psychoactive cannabinoids like THC.
And they may have policies that allow them to terminate your employment if you test positive for such substances.
This may seem weird to think about in a country where marijuana legalization is gaining serious ground.
However, it’s important to understand that the laws that have legalized marijuana haven’t necessarily given people the right to maintain employment with companies who decide that the use of such compounds violates their employment terms.
It’s just really important that you understand the risks before using marijuana in association with your job.
3. If In Doubt, You Should Talk To Your Human Resources Department
It can sometimes seem like a scary idea to actually talk to a representative from your company about issues like marijuana use.
You may see this as painting a target on yourself that the company could use to either keep a much closer eye on you, or to even terminate you simply out of suspicion due to the question.
However, the truth of the matter is that having an honest, investigative conversation with management about it can sometimes yield information that you wouldn’t have known before.
And sometimes, you may be surprised to find that the company is actually a lot more relaxed about its cannabis policy than you assumed they were based on what you found reading the company handbook.
Sometimes, you may come to find that your management team is actually quite ‘marijuana positive,’ and tends to treat the things you do in your time away from work as stuff that the company really has no vested interest in caring about—as long as you continue to perform the duties of your work safely and up to standards.
But of course, there’s also a risk that could come with this as well.
Some companies are not like this. Some companies actually will look down on you for even asking the question—and yes, sometimes this can even cause undue (yet, completely legal) discrimination.
It’s not an easy quandary to explore.
However, it’s in your best interest to do everything you can to find concrete answers to your questions—while also making sure that you can preserve your employment without jeopardizing your income at the same time.
Sometimes, discretion and privacy are really your best friends.
Hopefully, this post has given you some important things to think about as you seek to enjoy your cannabis habit while still maintaining gainful employment with good company.
Thankfully, the rules about cannabis use are growing more relaxed in the United States.
However, it still pays to be careful.
So just make sure that you exercise some common sense and wisdom as you navigate this sensitive issue.