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Election Day 2016 sees three new states add medical marijuana laws

On Nov. 8, 2016, voters in Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota approved initiatives permitting the lawful use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

As a result, 29 states (and the District of Columbia) will now have comprehensive medical marijuana laws on the books.

Of these newly-approved medical marijuana laws, only Arkansas’ legislation includes language that mentions employers.

Specifically, the law states:

"An employer shall not discriminate against an individual in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment, or otherwise penalize an individual, based upon the individual’s past or present status as a Qualifying Patient or Designated Caregiver.”

However, it also makes clear that an employer is not required to accommodate the ingestion of marijuana in a workplace or to tolerate an employee working while under the influence of marijuana.

Despite the surge in state-level legislation regarding medical marijuana, it is important to remember that marijuana remains a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act, which means that it is neither lawful to use or possess as a matter of federal law.

Source: Littler Mendelson P.C., 11/9/2016

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