ST. PETERSBURG -- How will medical marijuana use be handled in the workplace if Florida voters pass Amendment 2 in the November election?
It’s one of the burning questions being asked by employers and employees alike.
Attorney David Linesch, who specializes in labor and employment law, said companies with drug-free policies may have to loosen up or possibly be in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“If I’m an employer, I’m going to be very careful here because you don’t want to be that case where it’s found that you did cross the line and violate the law and then have a substantial verdict for the employee,” Linesch said.
Moving forward, Linesch said employers will likely abandon their zero-tolerance attitudes and focus more on performance.
“I really do think the analysis will turn to, you can’t show up impaired at work,” Linesch said. “You have to be able to perform the essential job duties or functions of your position.”
But measuring for impairment from marijuana use isn’t as simple as testing someone who is under the influence of alcohol. For starters, there is no set legal limit yet.
Dr. Randy Shuck also points out there are different THC levels in different strains and the effects can vary by person.
“Metabolism of a drug is done by how much a person weighs, what their body type is, how much fat content they have and how often they do the drug,” Dr. Shuck said.
Still, while measuring your impairment may not be so clear cut, Linesch said employers always have the ability to measure how well you do your job and if you aren’t making the grade while on medical marijuana, they can still show you the door.