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Smoking Legalized Marijuana Can Still Get You Fired
May 9, 2013
Source: CNN Money
Now that 18 states and the District of Columbia have legalized pot (and at least seven more are considering doing so), in most places for medical use only, a patchwork of different state laws clash with federal drug laws and raise questions about how to comply with other federal statutes like the Americans with Disabilities Act. One issue out of the many now giving employers a big headache: How do you maintain a drug-free workplace in a state where workers have the legal right to use a recreational drug in their spare time. The question might be moot if THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, metabolized as fast as, say, alcohol does. "Someone who had a few drinks over the weekend can probably still pass a random drug test on Monday morning," notes Danielle Urban, a partner in the Denver office of employment law firm Fisher & Phillips. "But THC can stay in the bloodstream for up to six weeks." So even an occasional toke can cost a worker his or her job -- even in a state like Colorado that has a "lawful activity" statute designed to protect employees from being fired for off-the-job activity.
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