marijuana laws by stateWith medical and recreational marijuana use becoming legal in more states nationwide, you may be wondering what kind of drug-testing policy your business should have. The following guide to marijuana laws by state describes what obligations (if any) employers have regarding legal medical or recreational marijuana use.

Please note that this is a rapidly changing area of law, and one where answers to many questions will not exist until a court case has been tried on the precise issue. We will do our best to keep the information below current, but much of these laws is being made through the court systems, and not all court decisions are widely reported (or reported at all).

If you are planning to take a hard line with an employee, particularly one whom you believe to use marijuana for medical purposes, it’s best to consult with a human resources advisor or employment attorney who practices in your state.

A few things to keep in mind about all marijuana laws:

  1. No employer needs to tolerate an employee using marijuana on the job.
  2. No employer needs to tolerate an employee being high on the job (as might result from smoking before work or during breaks).
  3. Where the information below says that medical use must be “accommodated” it means an employer will have to ignore the fact that someone uses marijuana off-duty for medical purposes, could use marijuana off-duty for medical purposes, or has a positive drug test result for THC. It does not mean they have to accommodate on-duty use or allow an employee to be high on the job.
  4. Except for Maine, no state has to accommodate recreational use, even off-duty.

This list includes the types of marijuana use that are legal by state, and whether there are any explicit protections for employees related to use. For the purpose of this list, marijuana refers to a substance that includes THC and would result in a positive drug test.

Marijuana Laws by State

  • Alaska: Medical and recreational use. Employers have no obligation to accommodate medical use.
  • Alabama: No legal use.
  • Arizona: Medical use only. Employers must accommodate medical use unless they would lose federal funding or licensure, or for safety-sensitive positions.
  • Arkansas: Medical use only. Employers must accommodate medical use.
  • California: Medical and recreational use. Employers have no obligation to accommodate medical use.
  • Colorado: Medical and recreational use. Employers have no obligation to accommodate medical use.
  • Connecticut: Medical use only. Employers must accommodate medical use unless testing is required by federal law or contract.
  • Delaware: Medical use only. Employers must accommodate medical use.
  • District of Columbia: Medical and recreational use.
  • Florida: Medical use only. Employers have no obligation to accommodate medical use.
  • Georgia: No legal use.
  • Hawaii: Medical use only. Employers have no obligation to accommodate medical use.
  • Idaho: No legal use
  • Illinois: Medical use only. Employers must accommodate medical use.
  • Indiana: No legal use.
  • Iowa: No legal use.
  • Kansas: No legal use.
  • Kentucky: No legal use.
  • Louisiana: Medical use only. Employers have no obligation to accommodate medical use.
  • Maine: Medical and recreational. Employers must accommodate medical use. Additionally, Maine specifically protects recreational use, meaning an employer may not discriminate or take any adverse action against an applicant or employee because of marijuana use or a positive drug test.
  • Maryland: Medical use only. Employers have no obligation to accommodate medical use.
  • Massachusetts: Medical and recreational. Employers must accommodate medical use unless they can show undue hardship.
  • Michigan: Medical and recreational.
  • Minnesota: Medical use only. Employers must accommodate medical use.
  • Mississippi: No legal use.
  • Missouri: Medical use only. Employers have no obligation to accommodate medical use.
  • Montana: Medical use only. Employers have no obligation to accommodate medical use.
  • Nebraska: No legal use.
  • Nevada: Medical and recreational. Employers have no obligation to accommodate medical use.
  • New Hampshire: Medical use only. Employers have no obligation to accommodate medical use.
  • New Jersey: Medical use only. Employers have no obligation to accommodate medical use.
  • New Mexico: Medical use only. Employers have no obligation to accommodate medical use.
  • New York: Medical use only. Employers must accommodate medical use unless they would lose a federal contract or funding, or it would cause an undue hardship.
  • North Carolina: No legal use.
  • North Dakota: Medical use only. Employers have no obligation to accommodate medical use.
  • Ohio: Medical use only. Employers have no obligation to accommodate medical use.
  • Oklahoma: Medical use only.
  • Oregon: Medical and recreational use. Employers have no obligation to accommodate medical use.
  • Pennsylvania: Medical use only. Employers must accommodate medical use.
  • Rhode Island: Medical use only. Employers have no obligation to accommodate medical use.
  • South Carolina: No legal use.
  • South Dakota: No legal use.
  • Tennessee: No legal use.
  • Texas: No legal use.
  • Utah: Medical use only. Employers have no obligation to accommodate medical use.
  • Vermont: Medical and recreational.
  • Virginia: No legal use.
  • Washington: Medical and recreational. Employers have no obligation to accommodate medical use.
  • West Virginia: Medical use only. Employers may not discriminate based on the fact that someone has is a medical marijuana cardholder.
  • Wisconsin: No legal use.
  • Wyoming: No legal use.

Get all the compliance information you need, when you need it. Check out GTM’s HR services and then request a free quote.


Click on a tag for related articles: , ,

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This