In 2012, Colorado and California became the first states to permit the recreational usage of marijuana for people 21 and older. Since then, many states have followed suit and have enacted laws to adjust to the changing times. One law, however, will always remain in effect; driving impaired, whether under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or any other substance, is extremely illegal and dangerous.
You Can Still be Fired — or Even Not Hired — if You Smoke Weed
It is important to remember that you must adhere to company policy and remain professional at all times. Depending on your job title, of course, there could be safety issues and legal ramifications that come with smoking on the job. Industries that are most likely to drug test their employees and new hires are: governmental and judiciary systems, medical, transportation, manufacturing, warehouse, and factory. If you are smoking during work hours when not permitted, or abusing the substance or any policies in place, you could be fired.
On the other hand, there are many companies that recognize drug testing for marijuana is narrowing their hiring pool. Some may forgo drug testing entirely, while others may have modified drug testing policies. It's encouraged to understand your company's policy on marijuana usage before smoking. Some industries are entirely weed-friendly, while others aren't, it depends on the line of work you are in and the company itself.
What Employees Should Remember
A good rule of thumb is, unless you work directly in the industry, to simply leave weed usage to after-work hours. Everyone's reaction to smoking is different, and some have more severe reactions than others. Your body's response to weed also varies depending on the type/strain you use, your size, chemistry, history, and more.
If you are permitted to smoke marijuana during your work day, then keep some of the following in mind:
- It is completely legal and within a company’s rights to enforce random drug testing.
- If there is a clear-cut drug and alcohol policy in place, then you should follow it. It’s there for a reason and ignoring it can cost you your job, along with some references.
- If you operate heavy machinery, DO NOT be under the influence of marijuana (or any substance that could impair your judgement or vision). The best practice is to wait 24 hours before working or driving in a safety-sensitive position. You don’t want to put your life, or the lives of others, at risk.
- Show up to work ready and able to perform your tasks. At-will workplaces can fire you for anything less.
- If you wouldn’t show up to work drunk, then you probably don’t want to show up high, either.
- Remember, your employer always has the right to fire you, even if your state says you’re allowed to use pot. You’re only protected if you’re using it for medicinal reasons.
- Companies may eliminate testing for marijuana, but screening for other drugs is fair game.
- Companies have the right to enforce a drug-free workplace. If you enjoy your job, you’ll set your own priorities.
420 Friendly Careers
If you live and breathe cannabis, then you may want to consider a career in the industry. If you're not looking to be employed in the cannabis industry, but you would like a marijuana-friendly career, we have some listed below. Always remember to check with your employer before using marijuana; just being in the specific industry listed below does not mean all corporations are accepting of it.
- Food service industry: The food service industry is typically 420 friendly, as long as your establishment and state permit it, and it does not interfere with your work.
- Bartending: Like food service, as long as your state and establishment allows for some recreational use, bartending can allow for some casual pot usage.
- Art and entertainment: Writers, musicians, actors, people in the entertainment industry unite over the enjoyment of pot. Become famous, and you have a huge platform to speak out and talk about it.
- Marketing and Advertising: You can specialize in the ever-growing cannabis industry, and you’ll be surrounded by like-minded spirits. Just be sure to prioritize your professional responsibilities.
- Massage therapy: A lot of massage therapists are into natural and holistic practices. Incorporating CBD and THC into your routine, along with smoking a bit here and there can align with the lifestyle.
- Digital marketing: Most agencies aren’t drug testing. Cannabis-loving creatives claim pot enhances their artistic imagination anyway, just be sure you are still able to prioritize and meet your deadlines.
- Freelancer: You’re your own boss of the gig economy, and the world is your office. Again, as long as you can meet client expectations and deadlines, you can use recreationally.
At the end of the day, recreational marijuana usage is a part of many people's lifestyle and corporations are beginning to recognize it. As long as you understand and abide by your company's policies, you can enjoy your career and partake in some recreational marijuana.