We would all be excused for wanting 2020 to disappear in a fog of medical marijuana. In case you missed it, here’s a recap of a very busy year for Ogletree Deakins Drug Testing Practice Group.
As we predicted in 2019, most of this year’s action concerned medical and recreational marijuana. Not to be missed, however, there were important developments regarding accommodation of opiate addiction, pandemic-related drug testing guidance by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and even decriminalization of narcotics and psychedelic drugs. Here is a rundown of the highlights from 2020.
- Not content to merely decriminalize marijuana, Oregon decriminalized narcotics and psilocybin.
- Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act provides for a private right of action but, for now, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act does not mandate accommodation of medical marijuana.
- The November election saw five states (Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, South Dakota and Mississippi) legalize medical and/or recreational marijuana. When South Dakota and Mississippi join the party, you know there’s no stopping things!
- As if the state-by-state nature of drug testing law isn’t complicated enough, in November 2020, Madison, Wisconsin joined the party and decriminalized small amounts of cannabis.
- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a helpful guidance on opioid addiction and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Louisiana’s medical marijuana law took effect in August 2020—laissez les bon temps rouler.
- In a rare moment of clarity for employers, the Rhode Island Supreme Court clarified when an employer has reasonable grounds to conduct a drug test.
- Since COVID-19’s impact knows no bounds, in March 2020, the DOT published guidance on administration of drug and alcohol testing during the pandemic. However, consistent with all things 2020, the guidance provided little in the way of practical solutions.
- The DOT did, however, issue a helpful guidance on cannabidiol (CBD) use in safety-sensitive jobs.
If the growth of the International Cannabis Bar Association is an accurate predictor, medical and recreational marijuana accommodation will continue to be a hot area in 2021. But if 2020 is any indicator, there will be a few surprises along the way too. Follow Ogletree Deakins Drug Testing blog to stay abreast of all developments. Happy New Year!