Maine is struggling getting their recreational marijuana program started, mostly because their governor is biased against cannabis. However, recreational marijuana was approved by voters and so there is little he can do to stop it. Actually, one deadline has come and gone as part of the new legislation which impacts any employer that wants to avoid hiring marijuana users.
Employers in the state will no longer be able to discriminate against employees for using marijuana or marijuana by-products outside after new laws went into effect, and the state’s Labour Department has removed the drug from its list of substances that employers can test applicants for, according to the employment law firm Littler Mendleson PC.
The new law applies only to individuals 21 or older, and prohibits refusing to hire someone who uses marijuana in their off time as well as simple discipline for pot use.
Individuals who use marijuana during work hours and at the work place can still be disciplined by their employers for being under the influence at work. A positive test result, however, won’t be enough to prove an employee was or is under the influence, according to a state labour department spokesperson.
In other states that have legalized marijuana, discrimination towards cannabis users applying for jobs is still permissible. In Florida, where there is generally thought to be a popular medical marijuana program, one of its major faults is that even medical marijuana patients can still lose their jobs or net get hired if they test positive for marijuana.
Rules that do not allow people to get high while at work make sense, but employers keeping medical marijuana patients from ever finding relief even during after hours is questionable. Governor Paul LePage of Maine has no choice but to follow the law, so the legal marijuana market in Maine is far from perfect. This law makes a lot of sense though, doesn’t it?