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Marijuana is legal in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Can my employer test me?

May 08, 2023

Cannabis consumption may be legal throughout the Washington region, but your employer may not be as tolerant as your local government. Whether using marijuana in your free time gets you in trouble at the office largely depends on where you work, and even what type of work you do.
And with a strong concentration of federal employees whofall underfederal laws that still say the drug is illegal, workers in and around the District should be aware of what workplace rules may apply even to off-the-clock marijuana use.

Marijuana is legal in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Can my employer test me?

Marijuana is legal to consume, but not at work. In D.C., Maryland and Virginia, employees can get in trouble with their boss and the law for consuming the drug at the workplace or for coming to work impaired. And employers are still allowed to require employees to be drug tested.
In many cases, the boss is allowed to deny an applicant or take disciplinary action against an employee based on the results. However, some employment protections exist in D.C. and Virginia, particularly for people who hold medical marijuana cards.

Can a company drug test me if I’m applying for a job?

Yes, but in D.C. a company cannot refuse to hire someone solely for cannabis consumption unless the employer is subject to federal law, such as a contractor that receives federal funding or works for the D.C. Courts, or if the employer works in a “safety sensitive” field where impairment on the job could result in harm to the employee or others.
In Maryland and Virginia, a company can refuse to hire applicants who test positive for THC, with limited exceptions in Virginia for medical cardholders who do not work for the federal government or a federal contractor.

Can I be fired if I tested positive for marijuana?

In D. C.? In most cases, no. Last year, D.C. Council passed a bill that protects many employees from being fired for testing positive for THC consumption, including most employees who work for thecity government. However, there are many exceptions for workers who may be fired for testing positive for marijuana use: federal employees; employees of the D.C. Courts; and workers in “safety sensitive” fields like police officers, security guards, utility workers, construction workers, and health care workers, among others.
You could read more of this Washington Post Article here.