5 States Legalize Marijuana

On November 3, 2020, citizens in several states voted on legalizing marijuana. Voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota approved measures that legalize recreational marijuana. Voters in Mississippi and South Dakota also approved measures that legalize medical marijuana.

The four states that newly approved recreational marijuana join the 11 other states that already allow individuals aged 21 or older to possess, purchase, and use marijuana for recreational purposes. 

Mississippi’s new medical marijuana law brings the total number of states that allow medical marijuana use only (as opposed to both medical and recreational marijuana use) to 23.

Employers may still ban marijuana from their workplaces and prohibit employees from working under the influence of marijuana. However, depending on the applicable state law, employers may not be able to take adverse employment action against employees solely based on a positive drug test.

Employers in Arizona, New Jersey, Montana, Mississippi, and South Dakota should become familiar with applicable new marijuana laws and review their existing drug testing policies and procedures to ensure compliance. These employers may also need to review other applicable laws relating to workplace drug testing, discrimination, and similar employment issues.