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What marijuana users should know about weed and the workplace in Missouri

Some companies are backtracking rules involving workers, while others are adding new layers to their policies.

ST. LOUIS — Now that recreational marijuana is legal in Missouri, your employer is likely revisiting company policy. Some companies are backtracking rules involving workers, while others are adding new layers to their policies. 

With the passage of Amendment 3 comes some new dos and don'ts that your boss has to take notice of. It could mean making changes or reinforcing protocols that may or may not side with those who use marijuana.

Lighting up in Missouri is now legal. But how does that affect you when you go to work?

"The first and most frequent question I'm getting is, ‘Can we still prohibit marijuana use in the workplace?’" said Attorney Sarah Mullen of Lewis Rice. “It's a clear yes."

The St. Louis employment attorney said your job has discretion on how it will react to Amendment 3, which legalized recreational marijuana in Missouri last month. In short, your job can still say no weed at work. 

So what if you're at work and your boss thinks you’re high?

"Much like alcohol, you can't come to work under the influence, you can't be smoking or ingesting marijuana on the job, much like you can't do that with alcohol," Mullen said. "The employer can ask questions of the employee about why they're acting the way they're acting or if they're under the influence at work.”

Mullen said that even includes if you work remotely.

On the other hand, there are some things companies may want to revisit since Amendment 3 expunges records for minor marijuana offenses. That might change a company's hiring practices.

"To the extent marijuana-related offenses were disqualifying for employment, they need to take careful look at that and a careful look at that practice,” Mullen said.

When it comes to workers who use marijuana for medical reasons:

"Now, Missouri employers can’t refuse to hire someone or terminate someone as a result of a positive drug test if they are a medical marijuana user,” she said.

By the way, a company in a state where recreational marijuana isn't legal or a federal employer may still require a negative drug test to work for them.

Just because you have the green light to smoke in Missouri, it could hold a job seeker back if they're looking to work elsewhere.

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