Let’s Stay Out of the Weeds – Arizona’s Recreational Marijuana Proposition

This November, Arizona voters will decide whether to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. One burning question for employers: How does this impact operations?

Does Proposition 207 propose to allow marijuana in the workplace? The short answer is no. The proposed A.R.S. § 36-2851 of Chapter 28.2 expressly provides that the Chapter: (1) “[d]oes not restrict the rights of employers to maintain a drug-and-alcohol-free workplace or affect the ability of employers to have workplace policies restricting the use of marijuana by employees or prospective employees”; and (2) “[d]oes not require an employer to allow or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale or cultivation of marijuana in a place of employment.” In other words, passage of Prop 207 would maintain the status quo as to employers and employees with respect to marijuana. However, there are still lingering issues for employers under two other Arizona statutes: the Drug Testing of Employees Act (“DTEA”) and the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (“AMMA”).

Prop 207 does not appear to change the legal landscape when it comes to marijuana use, possession, or impairment in the workplace. For example, can an employer discipline an employee who tests positive for marijuana if he or she has never held a valid medical marijuana card?  The answer is yes, both currently and if Prop 207 passes.