Seeing through the Smoke

Clarity on the Marijuana Update

With recreational marijuana use becoming legal in Oregon as of July 1, 2015 the question of how this will affect employers is on the minds of many.

And our answer for employers is, not much.

Nothing needs to change regarding your drug testing and hiring policies – unless you choose to ease up your testing standards.

The Colorado Supreme Court has made up their mind regarding the question of “can an employer terminate employees for off-duty pot use?” And they say, “Yes, you sure can.” Even employees with medical marijuana cards can be terminated for failing company-required drug tests.

We addressed the question “should you still drug test?” on our blog in an article dated November 7, 2014 and the recent ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court has upheld that same opinion. While the Colorado Supreme Court decision is not binding in Oregon it does set a precedent to draw from should the Oregon Supreme Court take up a similar case.


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2 thoughts on “Seeing through the Smoke

  • Stuart Greenleaf

    Terminating for a positive test for medical marijuana – I see this as an issue. While cannabis is a powerful short-term intoxicant, it can continue to test positive in the urine for weeks after use is discontinued. Unlike alcohol, performance testing for marijuana intoxication has not yet been clearly established, but it can certainly interfere with effectiveness and safety in the workplace.
    Its unique medical benefits have been demonstrated well enough to qualify it for prescription drug status. Disciplinary action for this drug and not others could well be considered discriminatory.
    The answer may lie with the cannabis extract CBD. Its medical benefits are superior, and it is not intoxicating like THC, the other major cannabis fraction. There is an urgent need for developing a biochemical test which is selective for CBD in oreder to solve this problem.

    • Cardinal Services Post author

      Thanks Stuart,
      We advise and help clients establish and implement a consistent drug testing policy to be upheld for all employees. Marijuana, instead of other drugs being tested, is the primary focus due to the recent legal changes.