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Up in Smoke: Maine Bans Workplace Marijuana Testing

Employers in the state of Maine are no longer allowed to drug screen applicants for marijuana. IB 2015 took effect February 1, 2018, following the passage of Question 1 in November of 2016, which legalized the recreational use and retail sale of the drug.

The bill states that schools, employers, and landlords may not refuse to enroll or employ or lease to anyone 21 years of age or older based on the individual's consumption of marijuana outside the school, employer, or landlord's property.

Though employers may not screen out or penalize individuals for their consumption of marijuana outside the workplace, they may restrict its use within the workplace by maintaining drug free workplace policies and disciplining employees who are under the influence of the drug in the workplace.

Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, and employees of federally regulated agencies within the state of Maine continue to be subject to those agencies' mandated drug screening programs.

Maine is now among 8 other states that have legalized recreational use of marijuana and 29 states that allow for its medical use. Looking forward, we will likely to see more states pass similar measures to limit the screening of marijuana for employment purposes. Stay tuned!

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