Legalization of Marijuana and its Effect on Employment

Legalization of Marijuana and its Effect on Employment

Legalization of Marijuana and its Effect on Employment

In the 2012 election, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use. The laws allow residents to smoke pot in the privacy of their own homes, but not in public places. This brings up questions, however, about how employers are going to deal with drug use, including:

  • Will employers be able to fire workers for smoking pot or coming to work under the influence of marijuana?
  • Will employers be able to require workers to pass pre-employment drug tests?

The answers to these questions are not quite clear. Experts opine that it will depend on the company’s policies. Employers are advised to immediately draft policies and update company handbooks, so employees are clear on what is expected from them with regard to recreational marijuana use.

For those who live in Colorado and Washington, it is generally advised to keep marijuana use completely separate from your job, especially if your employer accepts any federal funding or is regulated by the federal government. This is because the federal law still says marijuana is illegal.

Marijuana Use in Florida and its effect on your future

With the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington, other states, including Florida, may also make adjustments to their laws regarding marijuana use. Until that time, however, marijuana is still illegal in the state of Florida and is heavily prosecuted in Florida courts. Consequences for drug use and possession may include:

  • Suspension of driver’s license
  • Fines
  • Probation
  • Jail or prison time
  • Criminal record

Possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana is a felony in Florida. Possession of 20 or fewer grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor in Florida. A misdemeanor, however, has serious consequences. You may have to disclose the criminal record, felony or misdemeanor, every time you apply for a job. It also can affect your eligibility for student loans and grants.

Talk to an attorney

If you are arrested in for drug use or possession, contact an experienced drug crime defense lawyer An experienced criminal defense attorney will investigate whether or not the arrest was legal and that the police followed proper procedure. If the police violated your rights, e.g., did not have the right to search your vehicle, your home or your person – the charges against you may be dismissed. If you or a loved one is facing drug charges in Florida, contact a knowledgeable drug crime defense attorney.

Legalization of Marijuana and its Effect on Employment