Marijuana Laws: Navigating the Shifting Landscape

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Although pot is still illegal at the federal level, 28 states have now passed comprehensive medical marijuana laws, and eight of them, as well as the District of Columbia, have also legalized recreational use of the drug for adults ages 21 and older. Other states have decided to decriminalize cannabis—which means that people caught with small amounts of the drug likely won’t be prosecuted, particularly for a first offense.So does this mean that HR professionals must change their workplace policies regarding marijuana? In a word, no—although the issue is worth revisiting periodically in light of frequent legislative changes, developments in drug testing and shifting attitudes toward pot.“Employers need to know that, even with the proliferation of marijuana laws, it’s still perfectly OK to tell employees that they can’t use marijuana at work, can’t bring marijuana to work and can’t be impaired at work,” says Kathryn Russo, an attorney with Jackson Lewis in Long Island, N.Y.Recreati

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