May 13, 2015
Georgia Legalizes Medicinal Use of Cannabis Oil
On April 16th Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a law that made Georgia the 36th state, plus Washington D.C., to legalize marijuana extracts to treat illness.
Georgia’s new law makes it legal to use cannabis oil to treat 8 medical conditions: epilepsy and other seizure disorders, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, mitochondrial disease, Parkinson’s disease and sickle cell anemia.
With laws regarding marijuana changing across the country it’s important for employers to consider what these changes mean.
- Laws regarding medical marijuana are specific to the state where the employee reports for duty. If you have a business that operates in more than one state, know the laws that are specific to the employees in each state.
- Adopt a legally vetted pre-duty prescription medication and impairing effects substances safety policy that stresses the importance of safety.
- Update employee job descriptions to cover critical safety-sensitive issues.
- Adopt an ADA compliant handbook policy on reasonable accommodations in states that grant some level of employee status protection.
- Let employees know your stance on medical and recreational marijuana use.
- Update your drug-free workplace policy and forms to stay in compliance and reduce the risk of claims and lawsuits.
- Stay tuned. Even if the laws in your state haven’t changed, that doesn’t mean they won’t. Be prepared to change your policies to reflect new laws.
Here’s an article in US News that explains the new law in Georgia and includes stories of some of the people who will be affected by it. Here’s a blog post by our friend and legal expert Tommy Eden. His blog is a great source of information for what’s new in employment law and what it means for you.
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