In November 2010, Arizona legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes (Proposition 203). While the State recognizes the drug as a legal medicine for those that are prescribed the drug for medical reasons, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration views medical marijuana as an illegal drug and as such, certain laws are in place that Employers who have drivers on the road should know.
Any CDL driver, even those authorized to use marijuana for medical purposes, who tests positive for marijuana, will be arrested and the violation will be entered on the Employers CSA Safety Measurement System.
Proposition 203 does not require an employer to allow employees to use medical marijuana at work, or during work hours. Employers are authorized to discipline an employee for using the drug during working hours.
An Employer cannot penalize an employee for testing positive on a drug test, however, if an Employer suspects that an employee is under the influence at work, they can take action. Medical marijuana should be treated in the same way that a prescribed pain pill would be treated – with the assumption that it can and will impair thinking and reflexes.
Signs to look for:
- Red Eyes
- Dilated Pupils
Employers in Arizona do not need to forego drug testing or other safety procedures. If your company currently tests employees for drugs, you can continue to do so, only those who are authorized medical marijuana card holders may test positive.
If a legal user has any of the signs listed above, Employers can take action against the employee but ensure that all signs are documented.