Employers in States with Legal Marijuana Not Loosening Up with Drug Screening Policies

With many states passing laws to legalize medical and/or recreational marijuana, you would think that employers would gradually start loosening up with drug screening requirements. However a recent survey released by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) points in the opposite direction.

Employers in states where both recreational and medical marijuana is permitted seem to maintain the hardest restrictions. In fact, 82 percent of respondents in these states say marijuana use is not permitted for any reason, compared with only 73 percent in states where only medical marijuana is legal. This seems a bit backwards; most folks would guess that the more relaxed states that have gone so far as to legalize cannabis for recreational use would have the more relaxed employment policies. Unfortunately this isn’t the case.

“HR professionals in states where marijuana is legal for both recreational and medical use tended to have stricter policies in place than those where only medical marijuana is legal,” said Evren Esen, SHRM’s director of survey programs.

Job seekers who think their weed use is protected under state law may be in for a reality check. It seems that for the time being, most human resources professionals are staying loyal to the federal government, which still considers marijuana very much illegal no matter what state you’re in.

The group surveyed 623 human resources professionals in 19 states that have legalized medical marijuana and four states, plus the District of Columbia.

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