- Forty-three percent of workers are uncomfortable talking about recreational marijuana at work, according to new data from Serenity at Summit, an agency specializing in drug addition treatment. The only topics to elicit discomfort in more workers were sex (59%), religion (49%) and politics (48%).
- Slightly more than half of respondents said they have discussed their drug use with coworkers, the report said. Women were slightly less likely than men to do so. Thirty-five percent of respondents said they had talked about their drug use habits with their managers.
- Marijuana was the most commonly discussed drug, according to survey respondents. Painkillers were the second most common type and amphetamines the third.
As more states legalize marijuana in some form, it's likely that HR professionals will hear more about it — either in office chatter, as this study highlights, or in their efforts to stay compliant with local and federal law. More than 33 states have legalized marijuana, either medicinally or recreationally. On June 25, Illinois legalized recreational marijuana, the 11th state to do so, according to the Associated Press.
As more people use marijuana for medical reasons and as state laws shift, HR will need to consider how their policies align with the demands of their workforce and the boundaries of legislation, according to Sheehan Phinney attorney Jim Reidy. The Americans with Disabilities Act does not permit medical marijuana use as a reasonable accommodation, Reidy told attendees at the Society for Human Resource Management 2019 Annual Conference in June.
As for employees' off-the-clock use of marijuana, courts are starting to rule that this activity is protected — "a sea change," according to Reidy. Thirteen states prohibit discrimination on the basis of someone holding a medical marijuana card; employers will want to "expect carve outs" regarding card holders who have marijuana detectable in their system at work, Reidy said.