Arizona dispensaries will begin selling recreational marijuana to adults 21 and older sometime between now and April 5, 2021, thanks to voters approving Prop 207. With legalized marijuana comes new job-related laws that employers and employees will ultimately have to determine on a case-by-case basis.
“I know there are a lot of folks who have medical marijuana cards and are going to let them lapse because they don’t want to pay the extra fee when they can use marijuana recreationally,” employment attorney Chris Mason from Jennings Strouss Law Firm told Tucson Weekly. “If they let them lapse, those people will lose the (employment discrimination) protection of the (Arizona medical) marijuana act.”
Arizona medical marijuana cardholders have more legal protections than recreational marijuana consumers, and they also pay 16% less in tax on marijuana purchases and can also purchase higher potency edibles.
Ultimately, Arizonans and businesses will have to evaluate workplace situations and protections when it comes to using marijuana for medical and/or recreational use. As for safety-sensitive jobs, employers can bar workers for failing a drug test under the state’s Drug Testing of Employees Act.
“No employer out there should simply abandon marijuana as an issue in protecting their workplace,” Mason said. “It should be no different than alcohol prohibition in the workplace. You still have to have those expectations. But there are certainly a lot of different job positions where employers could be more understanding of the rights of medical marijuana users.”