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Monday, January 6, 2014

Now that Marijuana is "legal" in Colorado, Can a Employer Still Test of Fire an Employee for Use?

By: Peter J. Lamont, Esq.
New Jersey Business and Personal Law Attorney
Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont

As of January 1, 2014 certain state-licensed retail stores are permitted to sell marijuana to the public under the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012.

The new law allows anyone over 21 to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use, and authorizes the licensing of retail stores for the sale of marijuana to adults even if they do not live in Colorado. 

With this new law in place, can an employer still test or fire an employee for marijuana use? After all, its legal now.

Well, the answer is Yes, an employer can test and fire an employee for marijuana use. The law does not require an employer to to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale or growth of marijuana while at work and does not destroy the employer's right to have policies restricting the use of marijuana by employees.

In Colorado, an employer can still require drug testing and enforce its anti-drug policies.  It still allows employers to terminate employees whose performance may be impaired because of the use of marijuana. For example, if John legally purchases marijuana but comes to work under the influence, his employer is permitted to terminate him.

If you would like more information about this topic or have general legal questions, please feel free to contact me at (973)949-3770 or via email at plamont@peterlamontesq.com We answer legal questions on a daily basis and would be happy to discuss any issues or questions that you have with you.  Offices in: New Jersey New York, Colorado & Puerto Rico.  Affiliated throughout the country.

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