Companies determine practices when marijuana becomes legal in Massachusetts
Some adults may not be allowed to light up
BOSTON —On election night, proponents of recreational marijuana cheered the passage of Question 4, but the reality is, some adults will still not be allowed to partake once pot becomes legal December 15.
“Employers who have employees in safety-sensitive positions, such as forklift operators, those employers can prohibit marijuana use.” attorney Amanda Bear said.
One industry group, the Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts, said it’s still determining positions and practices, writing to Newscenter: “We have to balance the will of the community against the well-being of the construction industry (including without limitation, project owners).”
Other employers who can ban pot use on-duty or off include companies or municipalities that get contracts or funding from the federal government. For private-sector employees, including most office jobs, such sweeping bans are unlikely, Baer said.
“They can certainly ban it on their own premises – the law provides a carve-out for that,” Baer said. “As far as off-duty use, it would be very difficult for them to ban it and not invite an invasion of privacy claim.”
Just as with medical marijuana, legalizing recreational marijuana may be the progress voters were calling for, but the new law certainly will not mean an end to controversy and, in all likelihood, court cases.