Marijuana legalization poses challenges for employers

Brandon Klein,, February 9, 2015

A pro marijuana group in Ohio is attempting to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot to legalize marijuana for recreational use. If the amendment gets placed on the ballot and should it pass, employers fear that with more people using marijuana the pool of drug-free employees will decline and safety in the workplace will be compromised.

“I’m absolutely opposed to [legalizing marijuana],” said Don Crane, president of Western Reserve Building Trades, which represents more than 6,000 workers in the skilled trades. Many trade jobs have dangerous components.

The amendment does not speak to drug testing. According to a spokeswoman for ResponsibleCare, the group behind the effort, “‘The Marijuana Control Commission or the General Assembly could choose to pass additional protections for individuals who legally purchase marijuana at a licensed retail store or not-for-profit medical marijuana dispensary.’”

“Finding drug-free applicants posed a problem in the Valley two years ago when the oil and gas industry started drilling in the Utica Shale,” said Josh Dunne, co-owner of Accord Occupational Health Services in Boardman.


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