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February 03, 2015

If you are an employer or hiring manager in the U.S., perhaps recent changes in drug-related legislation have left you a bit perplexed. That's not surprising. In 2014, half of the states passed new legislation as they wrestled with how to deal with medical marijuana and, in the case of Washington and Colorado, the legalization of recreational marijuana use. It has left the country somewhat fragmented regarding how employers should handle employment screening and drug testing. In this post, we share a snapshot of where things stand within each state so you can make some sense of the changing landscape you may be facing. With more and more attention being given to developments in medical and recreational marijuana laws, it may be hard to imagine that the United States is not trending away from drug testing in the workplace. It is true that public opinion about certain controlled substances is shifting, but legislation is still being passed that creates provisions for drug testing employees, banning synthetic substances, and penalizing intoxicated motorists. The diversity of laws and court decisions produced in 2014 is proof that the line between pro-employer and pro-employee is vague and becoming more difficult to draw-out. As laws in some states provide new “rights” to individuals to consume intoxicating substances, other laws in those states as well as other places reinforce the rights of employers and citizens seeking to ensure safe workplaces and communities.


Comprehensive State-by-State Recap

Six states passed legislation that directly creates drug testing requirements, either for public assistance or specific industry employees. These states include Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, and New Hampshire. Three of those states passed laws to test individuals applying for public assistance (AL, GA, and MS). The other three states created requirements to drug test uniformed service employees of the Justice of the Peace Court (DE), Department of Corrections employees (IL), and certain health care workers (NH). This shows that when it comes to the workplace, legislators are trending more and more towards specializing drug testing requirements on an industry-by-industry basis.

State
Description
Bill No.
Date Passed
Alabama
Drug testing for applicants and recipients of public assistance Learn More
SB 63 (2014)
4-3-2014 Delivered to governor
Marijuana, medical necessity, defense against prosecution Learn More
SB 174
3-20-2014 Assigned Act No. 2014-277
Add substances to existing controlled substances, Schedule I Learn More
SB 333
3-13-2014 Assigned Act No. 2014-184
Alaska
Synthetic Drug Ban Learn More
SB 173
7-16-2014Signed Into Law
Arizona
Workers comp and controlled substances Learn More
HB 2221 (2014)
4-16-2014 Signed by Governor
Delaware
Drug testing of uniformed service employees of Justice of the Peace Court Learn More
SB 169 (2014)
7-15-2014 Signed by Governor
Florida
Authorizing specified physicians to prescribe to specified patients medical-grade marijuana Learn More
SB 1030
6-17-2014 Chapter No. 2014-157
Georgia
Create public-assistance drug testing program Learn More
HB 772 (2014)
7-1-2014 Effective Date
Illinois
Amends the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act Learn More
SB 2636
7-21-2014 Governor approved / Public Act 98-0775
Drug testing of Department of Corrections employees Learn More
SB 2668 (2014)
7-16-2014 Governor approved / Public Act 98-0757
Indiana
Amends UC law in general and touches upon drug testing Learn More
HB 1346 (2014)
3-24-2014 Signed by Governor
Iowa
Medical marijuana Learn More
SB 2360 (2014)
5-30-2014 Signed by Governor
Kentucky
Amend KRS 218A.010 concerning marijuana Learn More
SB 124
4-10-2014 Signed by Governor
Maine
Amend operating-under-the-influence laws Learn More
HB 1590 (2013)
2-27-2014 Passed to Be Enacted
Maryland
Altering the purpose of the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Marijuana Commission Learn More
HB 881
4-14-2014 Approved by Governor
Making the use or possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana a civil rather than a criminal offense Learn More
SB 364
4-14-2014 Approved by Governor
Medical marijuana Learn More
SB 923 (2014)
4-14-2014 Approved by Governor
Michigan
Controlled substances; marijuana; sale of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis through licensed facilities Learn More
HB 660 (2013)
12-31-2013 Approved by Governor
Marijuana Roadside Saliva Test Crimes. Learn More
HB 5385
10-22-2014 Assigned Pa 315’14 with Immediate Effect
Minnesota
Pharmacy Board cease and desist authority granted to prevent the sale of synthetic drugs Learn More
HB 2446
5-21-2014 Secretary of State Ch. 285
Forensic lab accreditation Learn More
SF 1725 (2014)
4-28-2014 Secretary of State Ch. 168
Mississippi
An Act To Provide That Adult Applicants For TANF Benefits Learn More
HB 49 (2014)
3-24-2014 Approved by Governor
Add substances to Schedule I Learn More
HB 1231
4-17-2014 Approved by Governor
Missouri
Allows the Department of Agriculture to grow industrial hemp for research purposes and allows the use of hemp extract to treat certain individuals with epilepsy Learn More
HB 2238
7-14-2014 Approved by Governor
Medical marijuana. Learn More
SB 951 (2014)
4-22-2014 Voted Do Pass
New Hampshire
Prohibit the designation of hemp as a controlled substance Learn More
HB 153 (2013)
7-18-2014 Signed by Governor
Require random drug testing program for certain health care workers Learn More
HB 597 (2013)
5-28-2014 Signed by Governor
New York
Legalization of medical marijuana (SB 4406 identical bill) Learn More
AB 6357 (2013)
7-5-2014 Signed Chap. 90
Oregon
Governing body of city or county may regulate or restrict operation, registration, storing and dispensing of medical marijuana Learn More
SB 1531 (2014)
3-20-2014 Effective date 3-19-2014 Governor signed
South Carolina
Relating To The Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act Of 1980, To Enact The Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Treatment Research Act Learn More
SB 1035
6-2-2014 Signed by Governor
Amend wording for DUI law and testing for DUI Learn More
SB 137 (2012-2013)
4-23-2014 Act No. 158
Drug testing procedures for WC Learn More
SB 826 (2013)
6-10-2014 Act No. 197
Utah
Workers Comp and Misconduct Learn More
SB 4401 (2014)
3-29-2014 Signed by Governor
Vermont
Amend DUI law Learn More
HB 501 (2013)
5-10-2014 Signed by Governor
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