Archives for November 2020

Arizona Legalizes Recreational Marijuana – What that Means for Employers

Arizona voters decisively voted in favor of Proposition 207, which legalizes limited recreational use, possession, and growth of marijuana for individuals age 21 or older.   The law will go into effect on or before April 2021.

This new law should not be confused with the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA), which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees/applicants in non-safety sensitive roles who test positive for marijuana if they have a valid medical marijuana card.  Prop. 207 provides no such employment protections for recreational marijuana users.  In fact, the Proposition expressly states that it does not:

  • restrict the rights of an employer to maintain a drug-and-alcohol-free workplace or affect the ability of employers to have workplace policies restricting the use of marijuana by employees or prospective employees;
  • require an employer to allow or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale or cultivation of marijuana in a place of employment; or
  • restrict the rights of employers to prohibit or regulate conduct otherwise allowed by the new Act when such conduct occurs on or in their properties.

So, what does the passage of Prop. 207 mean for employers?  Not much.  An employer can still enforce its substance abuse policy against recreational marijuana users.  To make this point clear, employers should consider amending their policy to specify that the legalization of recreational marijuana use does not excuse a violation of the policy.