States Where Recreational Marijuana Is Legal: Can You Be Fired For Smoking Pot Off The Job?

February 5, 2020

Your activities away from work can have a negative impact on current employment. Marijuana is a touchy subject, even in states where it is legal. Knowing the current status of marijuana legality in your state is vital to avoiding a work-related landmine. Learning the law, in general, is helpful, with great tips from lawmanaging leading the way. If you are unsure about how recreational marijuana will impact your employment, read below:

States That Are Hard On Marijuana

Recreational marijuana laws are still rolling out in several states. While some have an open-door policy, the states listed below rank as the worst for recreational usage. With that reasoning, it is probably a bad idea to use marijuana away from the job if living in one of these states. Even if recent changes have made it legal, there are certain areas that still view it negatively. Even if there are no fines, the use of drugs in one of these states can and will affect employment. Take notice that most of the states mentioned are located in Southern regions — policies are notoriously slow-moving in these parts:

  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Georga
  • Idaho
  • Louisiana

Honesty Is Important To Employers

So, you pass the state test, but what about the employer test? The easiest thing to do is walk into an interview and have a future boss that brags about his recreational drug usage. This is not unlikely and there are even some employers that include ‘recreational drug friendly’ tags in their job postings. New laws about recreational drug usage have forced companies to rethink their stance. Pay close attention to what is mentioned in the interview and also what papers you are signing. If the employer is friendly towards recreational marijuana, that does not mean you can openly fail the pre-employment drug test. There is no legal recourse for failing this test, even if your state and employer have relaxed drug use policies. 

With that said, failing the drug test does not always exclude you from employment. Always keep an open dialogue with your future employer. Failing the test due to medical marijuana usage will not exclude you from getting the job.

Lunch Break Smoking

Always follow and respect workplace rules. Employers that allow recreational usage of drugs still have rules in place. Doing drugs on company time will always get you fired. Be aware of what a company considers its property. Smoking in your car in the parking lot is still company property. Wearing a company uniform while doing marijuana is a grey area, but can still lead to you getting fired. 

Bringing drugs onto company property will not only lose you a job, but is considered illegal. Going to jail is not worth the hassle of smoking at will. Keep your recreational products at home, and make sure that anything identifying your employer is taken off.  

Wrap Up

There is no easy answer when drugs are involved, even when it is legal drugs. Employers do a decent job of separating work policy from an employee’s private life. Even so, do your research and do not get caught off guard. 

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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