The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act goes into effect on April fifteen, 2011. The Act permits a “qualifying patient” with a “debilitating health-related condition” to attain a registry identification card on the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). Cardholders are able to get an allowable amount of marijuana from a registered non profit medical marijuana dispensary and also make use of the marijuana for treating or perhaps alleviate certain health conditions. A “qualifying patient” has being diagnosed by, and also receive written accreditation from a physician. The Arizona law does not alter marijuana’s state as an illegal drug under federal law.


The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act is now included in the Arizona laws and regulations as A.R.S. 36 2801 et seq. The ADHS is the designated agency that has been given to create, abide by and implement a regulatory system for the distribution of marijuana for healthcare use, the setting up of approved dispensaries and the issuance of identification cards.

How does the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act impact employers? Employers can’t discriminate against a person in hiring, imposing or terminating any term or condition of employment or even otherwise penalize an individual according to either; (1) the individuals status as a cardholder, or even (two) a registered qualifying patient’s good drug test for marijuana pieces or perhaps metabolites, unless the affected person used, possessed or perhaps was damaged by marijuana on the premises of the place of employment or perhaps during the days of employment.

While just a qualifying individual might use medical marijuana, other people can also be cardholders subject to shield from discrimination including (1) the qualifying patient, (2) a designated caregiver or (3) an authorized non-profit medical marijuana dispensary agent.

The Act does create 2 limited exceptions to anti-discrimination provisions. To begin with, there’s an exception for employers who would, “lose a monetary or perhaps licensing related benefit under federal law or perhaps regulations.” Second, an employer isn’t needed to hire and continue to use a registered qualifying patient who tests positive for marijuana in case the patient utilized the marijuana on the employer’s premises or during time of employment.

The Act does not allow personnel to use marijuana at your office or during work hours. The Act does not authorize any person to undertake some activity under the influence of marijuana that would constitute negligence or even professional malpractice. The Act specifically forbids some person to operate motor vehicles who may be damaged by sufficient volumes of marijuana components or perhaps metabolites. Hence, employers may really take action against employees that use marijuana in your office or perhaps who work under the effect of marijuana.

Many of you may possibly be asking yourself, “Can’t marijuana be detected in urine tests for a few days and even several weeks?” The solution is “yes,” however, the law reads, “the authorized qualifying client shan’t be considered to be underneath the influence of marijuana solely because of the presence of metabolites or components of marijuana which often appear in insufficient concentration to cause impairment.” A.R.S. 36-2814(A)(3)

So just how does an employer or the ADHS define impairment? Unfortunately, the Act does not define “impairment” or “under the influence.” Based on the statute, the mere presence of some degree of components or metabolites of marijuana in the device isn’t enough. Employers will have to be a lot more astute at recognizing and documenting indicators and behaviors of marijuana impairment.
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Luckily, for companies, Arizona dependent employer organizations including the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, approached the Arizona State Legislature about the ambiguous and vague language regarding “impairment.” This prompted the State House of Representatives to present and successfully pass House Bill 2541 which in turn basically allows companies to make use of similar guidelines which exist in “reasonable suspicion” policies. The bill was sent to the State Senate for a vote (watch the blog of ours for the outcome).

The best practices approach for any business is to have in position a medication and alcohol policy that includes for a minimum “post accident” and “reasonable suspicion” testing. The additional forms of drug testing include pre-employment and random. Employers have to write down any observed conduct, behavior or perhaps appearance which is seemingly altering the employee’s job performance or endangering others in the workplace.

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