Arizona Legislators Act to Cope with Marijuana Law’s Many Problems

The Arizona House of Representatives passed a bill last week to protect employers who take disciplinary action against employees believed to be impaired in the workplace due to drug use, whether legal or illegal.

The bill states that an employer that has established a drug testing program may not be sued in certain scenarios. These include acting in good faith on the results of a positive test, failing to test for drugs and alcohol, acting on good faith that an employee used, possessed, or was impaired by drugs during hours of employment, and several others.

“We at MSEC had been shocked at the text of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act [AMMA], because it requires employers to have knowledge of an employee’s on-the-job impairment, which no drug test except possibly a blood test can show,” says MSEC attorney Curtis Graves. “I predicted Arizona would address this problem by adopting a blood test in the forthcoming regulations. Although that’s still a possibility, it looks like Arizona employers plan instead to totally eviscerate the AMMA with this bill.”

The bill passed the Arizona House overwhelmingly with a vote of 56 to 3 and will now be sent to the Senate.