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Speaker: Greg Hare | Office Managing Shareholder, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C

While marijuana remains a prohibited Schedule I drug under federal law, many states across the country have passed statutes allowing for use of medical marijuana, and some even allow recreational marijuana. How can a responsible employer reconcile that federal ban with the state mandates leniently allowing drug use? Can employees really use (or be under the influence of) drugs while at work? Can the employer insist on zero tolerance and remove marijuana users from the job? How does this affect the company’s drug testing program? Does the answer change if the job position is safety-sensitive? What if the employee actually claims that it’s necessary to take drugs (e.g., marijuana, CBD, pain killers) due to a physical or emotional or mental impairment, does that change the answer? This presentation will help HR professionals understand this balancing act of compliance – i.e., maintaining job safety while still respecting the various state laws.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to understand and comply with federal and state drug laws
  • Review how to maintain a safe and compliant workplace
  • Discuss how to enforce the company’s substance abuse policies
  • Learn how to reasonably accomodate employees who may take drugs to cope with impairments


  • Ethical Practice
  • Communication
  • HR Expertise