How Does Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Law Impact Your Drug-free Policy?


Here’s a post from OMA Connections Partner, Working Partners®:  “… Governor Kasich signed Ohio H.B. 523 into law, legalizing marijuana as “medicine under certain circumstances.” The law will officially go into effect in 90 days, but the bill allows two years for the state to complete the infrastructure and specifications to grow, sell and regulate the use of marijuana. “It is important for you to know there are SEVERAL elements in law that protect you, the employer, and your drug-free workplace (DFWP) program:

  1. Employers do NOT have to permit or accommodate an employee’s use, possession, or distribution of “medical” marijuana.
  2. Employers are NOT prohibited from refusing to hire, discharging, disciplining or otherwise taking adverse action against a person who uses “medical” marijuana.
  3. Employers CAN drug test and have a drug-free workplace program, even if it is a zero tolerance policy.
  4. The law will NOT interfere with or change: alcohol/drug testing requirements mandated by the Department of Transportation (DOT); the BWC Drug-Free Safety Program, including H.B. 80; Ohio HB 223 (rebuttable presumption for workers’ compensation
  5. Nothing in the law permits a person to sue an employer for refusing to hire, discharge, disciplining, retaliating or otherwise taking an adverse employment action related to “medical” marijuana.

A person who is discharged from employment because of their medical use of marijuana is considered to have been discharged “for cause” if their use violated an employer’s policy.”