ACOEM GUIDELINES Marijuana in the Workplace: Guidance for Occupational Health Professionals and Employers Joint Guidance Statement of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses and the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Abstract

M arijuana (cannabis) is the most frequently used illicit drug of abuse in the United States and worldwide. Moreover, it is second only to alcohol as the most prevalent psychoactive substance seen in cases of driving under the influence of drugs.1,2 It is also by a wide margin, the drug most often detected in workplace drug-testing programs. The primary psychoactive substance in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, known simply as THC. Present in steadily increasing concentrations in street-purchased, smokeable plant material, the THC content in marijuana averaged 3% in the 1980s, but by 2012 it had increased to 12%.3 The US government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug (defined as those drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,4 and the use/possession of which is subject to prosecution). Workers covered by federal drugtesting programs are uniformly prohibited from using marijuana at any time. In addition, federal law allows employers in every state to prohibit employees from working while under the influence of marijuana and are permitted to discipline employees who violate this prohibition. Nevertheless, with public attitudes toward marijuana use changing, prohibitions for its consumption outside of federal law now vary from state to state. Although the possession and use of marijuana continue to be prohibited by federal law, numerous states and the District of Columbia currently have enacted laws regarding marijuana use that conflict with federal law and policy,5 with legislation pending in other states.6–8 This changing legal environment and the evolving scientific evidence of its effectiveness for treatment of select health condi-

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Phillips2015ACOEMGM, title={ACOEM GUIDELINES Marijuana in the Workplace: Guidance for Occupational Health Professionals and Employers Joint Guidance Statement of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses and the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine}, author={Jennan A. Phillips and Michael G. Holland and Debra D. Baldwin and Kathryn Lyndsay Mueller and Marianne Dreger}, year={2015} }