Legalized marijuana: Healthcare group urges Congress to think about implications for workplace security | 2019-10-30


Elk Grove Village, IL — The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine is calling on Congress to make workplace security “a main consideration” when thinking of federal legislation that would legalize marijuana use.

In a statement sent to every single member of Congress in October, ACOEM notes that 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the drug for healthcare and/or recreational use. The doctor-led organization contends that the patchwork of laws to address marijuana use and workplace security is “detrimental” to workers, employers and the basic public.

“While there is a lot not recognized about marijuana, what is recognized is that marijuana can bring about impairment, which will interfere with protected and acceptable overall performance in the workplace,” ACOEM President Stephen Frangos stated in an Oct. 9 press release. “This is specifically regarding for these men and women operating in security-sensitive positions exactly where impairment can influence the overall health and security of other workers, shoppers, the basic public or other individuals.”

The organization points out that below OSHA’s Basic Duty Clause, all employers are obligated to defend workers from workplace illness and injury and have an ethical duty to avert impaired workers from exposing themselves, co-workers and the public to danger of harm.

“Without measurable concentrations of psychoactive components in marijuana-containing goods, recognized potency of the active ingredient, delivery mechanism, or scientifically established dose or dosing schedule, it is not possible to use proof-primarily based procedures to evaluate marijuana impairment in the workplace,” the statement reads.

ACOEM expresses robust assistance for any proposed legislation that would permit employers to prohibit workers in security-sensitive positions from operating even though below the influence of marijuana. As element of the approach of any new legislation in Congress, the organization suggests:

  • Reconciling the variations in between state and federal laws relating to marijuana use.
  • Assessing the influence of marijuana use on workplace security by way of investigation.
  • Permitting employers the latitude to handle danger in the workplace.
  • Identifying a trustworthy, sensible mechanism for employers to assess fitness for duty.

ACOEM also recommends setting a period of time in between marijuana use and performing security-sensitive tasks, adding that this is the present method to marijuana use in Canada and alcohol use in the United States.


In a policy position released Oct. 21, the National Security Council calls on employers to restrict cannabis use amongst workers in security-sensitive positions, regardless of no matter if cannabis consumption is legal in their state.

“Research clearly shows that cannabis impacts a person’s psychomotor abilities and cognitive capability,” NSC President and CEO Lorraine M. Martin stated in a news release. “In order to defend our workers and these about them, we require to acknowledge the impairing effects of cannabis. We urge employers to implement policies stating no quantity of cannabis consumption is acceptable for these who function in security-sensitive positions.”


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