Passage of CA’s Marijuana Law Highlights Need for Companies to Review Pre-Employment Screening; Opines CriminalBackgroundRecords.com

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With California joining the ranks of legal use marijuana state the number of states allowing for the lawful consumption of the drug grows, and as the effects of these new use laws on employment have yet to be fully determined any change in law should be of concern to employers. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com opines: “The passage of recreational use marijuana law in California highlights an immediate need for employers of all sizes to work closely with a well-qualified pre-employment background screening agency in order to remain fully compliant with all existing and potential laws governing background screening.”

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The legalization of recreational marijuana will eventually have a significant impact on pre-employment background screening policies beyond drug testing.

On January 1, 2018 California joined a growing list of states allowing the legal sale and use of recreational marijuana and while the effect on employment is yet to be understood, significant impact on pre-employment background screening could be felt in the near future. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com opines: “Any significant change in law should immediately push employers to review all existing employment screening policies in order to comply with existing and potential law.”

In West Hollywood, California the legal sale of recreational use marijuana commenced on the first day of the year.

From Canyon-News.com (Jan 03, 18):

The city of West Hollywood has become one of the first cities in the state to permit Adult-Use Retail cannabis sales. The recreational use of marijuana became legal in the state of California on Monday, January 1, 2018. (1)

While West Hollywood, CA allows the sale of recreational use marijuana not every city in California has the same policies. Some allow cultivation but not sales; others offer sales but not cultivation: Each city allows different practices as to the management of the marijuana law.

Almeida states: “An obvious best practice in light of the new marijuana law in California is to work with a pre-employment background screening agency in order to remain compliant with current law and stay ahead of potential new law.”

A great many questions remain regarding marijuana use and the workplace and, specifically, drug testing.

From the Los Angeles Times (LAtimes.com; Jan. 04, 18):

The new law "specifically does not change the legal status between employers and employees when it comes to drug testing and employment," said Tamar Todd, legal affairs director for Drug Policy Alliance, a national drug law reform group that supported the 2016 passage of Proposition 64, which legalized the sale of recreational marijuana in California.

"You can still be drug tested, and you could still be fired by your employer," she said. (2)

Almeida states: “Laws will continue to evolve over time and will continue to change. The legalization of recreational marijuana will eventually have a significant impact on pre-employment background screening policies beyond drug testing.”

One result of legalization may be the attitudes toward past usage and revelation of such usage during the interview process.

From the Denver Post (denverpost.com; Dec. 18, 17) discussing past marijuana use with police officer applicants in Colorado, attitudes that could eventually evolve in other states such as California:

…other police departments in the state are changing their attitudes. Last year, the Aurora Civil Service Commission adopted a policy that requires applicants to its police and fire departments to be marijuana-free for one year instead of three.

The changes in policies reflect evolving attitudes toward marijuana use in society, and some police departments are changing their standards because they fear they might lose otherwise high-quality recruits who have experimented with the drug because it is legal for people who are 21 or older to use pot in Colorado. (3)

Almeida concludes: “Ultimately significant changes such as the recreational marijuana use law in California will challenge employers and indicates an urgent need that all businesses and organizations work with a well-qualified pre-employment background screening agency in order to remain fully compliant with law.”

CriminalBackgroundRecords.com is a third-party employment screening company that can provide compliant solutions for all screening requirements. From pre-employment to post-hire screening, as well as volunteer, caregiver and nanny checks, CriminalBackgroundRecords.com provides background screening services across a broad array of industries. From the smallest organization to the largest corporation, CriminalBackgroundRecords.com can fulfill every background screening requirement.

Notes:
(1)    canyon-news.com/adult-use-retail-cannabis-sales-go-weho/75376
(2)    beta.latimes.com/business/la-fi-qa-marijuana-laws-20180105-story.html
(3)    denverpost.com/2017/12/18/colorado-police-marijuana-use/

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