Impacts of Marijuana Use Are Far Reaching - Keating Agency Insurance
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marijuanaRecreational marijuana legalization and decriminalization has been sweeping the United States during the past decade.

It started with the approval of cannabis for medical purposes.  Medical pot is legal in 33 states, four territories, and the District of Columbia.

Connecticut seems poised to join states like Massachusetts, Illinois, and Colorado with legal recreational weed.  However, what would the impact of legalization be on the nutmeg state?

Marijuana Use Off-the-Job: An On-the-Job Hazard?

Despite marijuana legalization in a number of states, the Insurance Information Institute (III) says the federal government considers it a Schedule 1 drug.  That classification doesn’t seem likely to change anytime soon.

However, as Baby Boomers get older, social acceptance of pot medically and socially has grown.  Later this year, the state of New Jersey will ask voters to weigh in on the issue.

Some Connecticut legislators have pursued pot legalization for a couple of years.  Some even promised to take up the fight again this year.

What does that mean for the state’s employers?  This is an especially important question for employers that conduct drug tests.

marijuanaBusiness Insurance reports that new tests for weed’s psychedelic ingredient, THC, are expected to hit the market.  These could give employers, and law enforcement, a viable option outside current urine testing.

Whether an employer can cite marijuana use as a reason for firing, however, is in doubt.

Business Insurance also reports that New Jersey made it illegal for employers to discipline or fire an employee solely on their status as a medical pot user.  And in October, a court in Oklahoma decided that a business could not deny an employee’s workers compensation claim.  This despite the worker failing a drug test after the incident and admitting to smoking weed ten hours before the incident.

On the bright side, courts also ruled that businesses and insurers cannot reimburse for medical pot prescribed under worker compensation.

The Keating Agency is your local, independent insurance agent and our business is to look out for your interests.  In the past, we wrote about the potential dangers of pot use for drivers.

We will keep track of this issue this legislative session and let you know if anything changes. Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our friends and neighbors.

For 50 years, the Keating Agency has been here for you.

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