The Arizona Healthcare Marijuana Act goes into impact on April 15, 2011. The Act permits a “qualifying patient” with a “debilitating healthcare situation” to receive a registry identification card from the Arizona Department of Wellness Solutions (ADHS). Cardholders can obtain an allowable quantity of marijuana from a registered non-profit healthcare marijuana dispensary and use the marijuana to treat or alleviate specific health-related conditions. A “qualifying patient” has to be diagnosed by, and receive written certification from a physician. The Arizona law does not alter marijuana’s status as an illegal drug below federal law.

The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act is now incorporated in the Arizona laws as A.R.S. 36-2801 et seq. The ADHS is the designated agency that has been assigned to develop, adopt and enforce a regulatory method for the distribution of marijuana for healthcare use, the setting up of approved dispensaries and the issuance of identification cards.

How does the Arizona Healthcare Marijuana Act affect employers? Employers can not discriminate against a individual in hiring, terminating or imposing any term or situation of employment or otherwise penalize a person based on either (1) the person’s status as a cardholder, or (2) a registered qualifying patient’s constructive drug test for marijuana elements or metabolites, unless the patient made use of, possessed or was impaired by marijuana on the premises of the place of employment or through the hours of employment.

While only a qualifying patient may use health-related marijuana, other people could also be cardholders topic to protection from discrimination like (1) the qualifying patient, (2) a designated caregiver or (three) an authorized non-profit healthcare marijuana dispensary agent.

The Act does make two restricted exceptions to anti-discrimination provisions. 1st, there is an exception for employers who would, “shed a monetary or licensing connected benefit below federal law or regulations.” Second, an employer is not required to employ or continue to employ a registered qualifying patient who tests constructive for marijuana if the patient utilised the marijuana on the employer’s premises or throughout hours of employment.

The Act does not enable employees to use marijuana at the workplace or during operate hours. The Act does not authorize any particular person to undertake any job below the influence of marijuana that would constitute negligence or professional malpractice. The Act particularly forbids any particular person to operate motor cars who may well be impaired by adequate amounts of marijuana components or metabolites. Therefore, employers may possibly nonetheless take action against workers who use marijuana in the workplace or who operate beneath the influence of marijuana.

A lot of of you may possibly be asking your self, “Can not marijuana be detected in urine tests for many days and even numerous weeks?” The answer is “yes,” nonetheless, the law reads, “the registered qualifying patient shall not be thought of to be below the influence of marijuana solely since of the presence of metabolites or elements of marijuana that appear in insufficient concentration to cause impairment.” Price of Medical Marijuana .R.S. 36-2814(A)(three)

So how does an employer or the ADHS define impairment? Sadly, the Act does not define “impairment” or “beneath the influence.” Based on the statute, the mere presence of some level of metabolites or components of marijuana in the program is not enough. Employers will have to turn out to be a lot more astute at recognizing and documenting behaviors and indicators of marijuana impairment.

Fortunately, for employers, Arizona primarily based employer organizations such as the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, approached the Arizona State Legislature with regards to the vague and ambiguous language concerning “impairment.” This prompted the State Home of Representatives to present and pass Property Bill 2541 which generally makes it possible for employers to utilize equivalent recommendations that are located in “affordable suspicion” policies. The bill has been sent to the State Senate for a vote (watch our weblog for the outcome).

The greatest practices approach for any business enterprise is to have in spot a drug and alcohol policy that includes at a minimum “post accident” and “affordable suspicion” testing. The other sorts of drug testing include pre-employment and random. Employers need to have to document any observed conduct, behavior or look that is seemingly altering the employee’s job overall performance or endangering other people in the workplace.