Arizona Medical Marijuana Act

The Following is some general information you should be aware of concerning the new Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.  Under the law, you as an employer can prohibit marijuana use at your place of employment.  The law does not protect an employee from possessing marijuana or using it on the employer’s premises during work hours.  The law also does not protect an employee from being impaired by marijuana at work.  Your policies should state that possession, use or impairment from marijuana in the workplace will not be tolerated.

If an applicant tests positive in a pre-employment drug test, you can not refuse to hire the applicant automatically.  Employers can not discriminate against applicants for medical marijuana use if the applicant is a registered cardholder.  

If a current employee tests positive for marijuana on a drug test, you can not automatically terminate the employee.  Determine if he/she is a registered cardholder.  If he/she is a registered cardholder and was not using the marijuana at the workplace or was not impaired at the job, then the employer may not terminate, discipline, or discriminate against the employee.

You can terminate an employee for being under the influence of marijuana at work, but it is difficult to determine whether the person is under the influence of marijuana in the workplace.  If you are able to document signs that the employee is under the influence and any witness testimony, you may be able to substantiate that the employee is under the influence and in violation of your policy.

You should change your policies to comply with the new law.  Update your policies pertaining to drug use and drug testing to remove any language that says the employer will not hire or will terminate an employee that tests positive for marijuana.  Add language to create an exception for registered cardholders.  Your policy should state that you do not tolerate the possession of, use of, or impairment from marijuana in the workplace.

Also keep the status of applicants and employees who are medical marijuana users confidential.

You should also consider an addendum for your tenants to sign with language very similar to the above restrictions