Maine Employers Must Ignore Off-Work Marijuana Use
Workers in Maine no longer have to worry about getting into trouble while on the job if they smoke weed off the job.
The Department of Labor in Maine, where cannabis was legalized during the 2016 election, removed marijuana from its list of substances for which employers can test applicants, according to the law firm Littler Mendelson PC.
The law, which applies only to individuals 21 or older, prohibits refusing to hire or discriminate against someone who uses weed in their off time as well as simple discipline for pot use.
Although individuals who use cannabis during work hours and at the work place can still be disciplined for being under the influence while on the job.
A positive weed test, however, will not be enough to prove that an employee was or is under the influence, according to the Littler report.
One step forward, two steps back
Meanwhile, Maine’s state lawmakers are seeking to amend and repeal various provisions of The Marijuana Legalization Act. They recently voted 16 to 1 in favor of overhauling the legalization law, which has yet to be fully implemented thanks to Maine’s Republican Governor, Paul LePage.
Governor LePage laid the groundwork for this obstruction last year when he threw a wrench into the legalization process by vetoing legislation that sought to license and regulate marijuana businesses and sales.
The governor’s justification: he doesn’t “clearly understand how the federal government intends to treat states that seek to legalize marijuana.” Does anyone?
Mainers are crying foul.
“A majority of Maine voters decided in favor of legalizing and regulating the use of marijuana by adults,” said NORML’s Political Director Justin Strekal. “It is time for lawmakers to implement the will of the people, not undermine it.”