Marijuana Legalization has been a topic that evaded me until recently. I had no real interest in it. That was until I started watching a channel called Viceland on my Amazon TV. There is this very interesting show called ‘Weediquette’. The show is hosted by Krishna Andavolu and chronicles him visiting not only U.S. states that have legalized marijuana – but families and businesses affected by the changing landscape of medical and recreational use of marijuana globally.
While the general approach is to focus on how your state is handling the legalization of marijuana – I believe it is beneficial to understand the larger story of how marijuana legalization is being navigated by the average citizen. If you are knowledgeable about how it affects citizens on the whole in your state – it is likely to inform you of how it could or maybe influencing your employees.
To date, there are 25 states in the U.S. that have legalized medical marijuana use and just four states that have legalized both recreational and medical marijuana use. According to Governing.com, the four states where marijuana has been legalized for both recreational and medical use is: Alaska, Oregon, Colorado and Washington.
What makes the legalization of marijuana particularly difficult is the following:
1) Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level.
2) Much of the state legislation is so vague that it is hard to understand what is permissible and what is not.
3) Safety concerns and increased employer liability for undetected and undisclosed marijuana use.
This isn’t the first time HR practitioners have had to lead in the face of legislative uncertainty. Nevertheless, it doesn’t make our jobs easier.
My colleagues at Assurex Global have been kind enough to share the infographic below with me. It outlines the state of marijuana legalization and what you should know and be doing to safeguard your organizations.