Cannabis Legalization & the Workplace

Cannabis Legalization & the Workplace

More and More states are legalizing medical marijuana and recreational use and employers are finding themselves in unfamiliar territory. With this new realm the legal experts suggest that employers be very careful on how to and when to apply a drug test and drug policies.


There are four states that have recreational use of marijuana and more that are to be on the ballot for this fall’s elections. Other states have decriminalized the possession of cannabis or permit medical use of cannabis.

Employers have been examining the legalities of marijuana use since decriminalization efforts began. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has also been studying this information since the decriminalization efforts along with Association leaders and Financial Executive International.

Although Marijuana is still illegal under federal law and employers do not have to tolerate the use among their employees in most circumstances the situation can get very tricky for the employer. If the employer is doing regular drug test or even considering it there are some new rules and guides that they are going to have to look at and be very careful about.  And then there is the question if they are going to have a zero-tolerance policy, which could cause additional problems for the employer and marijuana becomes more accepted. Even having a positive test results come back, after days of no marijuana consumption.

SHRM has many resources for employers  


History of Cannabis Part 2

Did you know that cannabis seed juice was used for earache and to drive worms and insects from out of the ears? We have found reference to this fact since the beginning of the Christian era through the 18th Century.


During this period cannabis was very intense in India and had spread through the Middle East and Africa. Arabian well known physicians mention cannabis, as Avicena, and around 1000 AD Muslims mention the use of cannabis as a diuretic, digestive, anti-flatulent, ‘to clean the brain’ and to soothe pain in the ears.  In 1464, Ibn al-Badri reported the use of the plants resin on the caliph’s chamberlain’s son to treat epilepsy cured him completely but left him an addict who could not be without cannabis.

Cannabis was also known in Africa since around the 15th century and was more than likely introduced by the Arab traders that were connected to India. In Africa they have similar evidence in the preparing of the plant. Africans used the plant as medicine for snake bite, to facilitate childbirth, blackwater fever, malaria, blood poisoning, fever, anthrax, asthma, dysentery and was also famous in relieving the symptoms of asthma.

Cannabis traveled to the Americas around the 16th century and probably began in South America in Brazil. These seeds were more than likely brought over by African Slaves, especially those from Angola. Cannabis use in Northeastern rural areas by blacks was fairly common with most synonyms for cannabis having their origin in the Angolan language (moconha, diamba, liamba and others). There are several reports that cannabis was used in religious rituals along with tooth ache and menstrual cramps.

Around 1585 Thomas Heriot had traveled to America and seen hemp-like plants growing wild in Virginia and told his friend Sir Walter Raleigh who became very excited about the prospect of harvesting hemp in the Colonies. This hemp was inferior in strength to the cannabis although it does yield a fiber that suitable for weaving. This was Heriot’s hemp plant known as Acnida Cannbinum.


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