Survey: Most Americans Say It Is “Unacceptable” For An Employee To Be Fired For Their Off-The-Job Marijuana Use

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director November 13, 2013

    Nearly two-thirds of Americans disagree with workplace policies that allow employers to sanction an employee for his or her off-the-job consumption of cannabis, according to a just released HuffPost/YouGov poll.

    Sixty-four percent of the poll’s respondents, including 62 percent of self-identified Republicans, said that it is “unacceptable for a company to fire an employee for using marijuana during his or her free time” if the employee resides in a state that has legalized the plant’s adult use. An equal percentage of respondents similarly said that it would be unacceptable for an employer to fire an employee for after-hours drinking.

    Only 22 percent of respondents said that it is acceptable for employers to fire workers who consume cannabis legally after-hours.

    To date, the Supreme Court of three separate states — California, Oregon, and Washington — have all similarly ruled that an employee who uses cannabis legally while off the job can still be sanctioned by their employer.

    Forty-five percent of respondents in the HuffPost/YouGov poll agreed that it should always be unacceptable for an employer to sanction an employee for his or her off-the-job marijuana use, even if the use took place in a state that classifies cannabis as illegal.

    Conventional workplace drug tests detect the presence of inert drug metabolites, non-psychoactive by-products that linger in the body’s urine well after a substance’s mood-altering effects have subsided.

    The HuffPost/YouGov poll surveyed 1,000 adults and possesses a margin of error is +/- 4.8 percent.

    54 responses to “Survey: Most Americans Say It Is “Unacceptable” For An Employee To Be Fired For Their Off-The-Job Marijuana Use”

    1. Ashton says:

      This is stupid you should not be fired over marihuana use if its legal in your state and especially if its during your off hours. I believe drug testing in the work place is only after one thing, if marihuana did not exist would drug testing in work places exist?

    2. Chris in WI says:

      Tell this to the company that was SHOCKED when I failed a random test and still fired me as Senior Manager despite my nightly cannabs use obviously never affecting my job performance… Star employee to dirtbag in zero seconds flat!

    3. Jackson D. says:

      I’m currently in a upper management position where I am in charge of upholding company policy. I however absolutly refuse to enforce this policymeanwhile you can go home drink as much alcohol is your heart can’t take fly off the handle beat your wife and kids drive to the store and kill somebody if you have a good enough lawyer and get off can still come to work the next day. Fuck this 1940s state of mind

    4. Jason says:

      Drug testing for work is insane. Its like the government foesnt want people to work and pay taxes. It’s no wonder nobody wants to work anymore. I get tested fequently.i use quick fix every time and pass.

    5. pambrowning says:

      The last urine and blood test I took to get my medication, I was denied treatment because they found marijuana in my system!! I was denied treatment. Is this legal? I do not have a script for mj.

    6. Joel: the other Joel says:

      Drug Testing….just another sinister plan on manipulating the young prospects who are increasing in numbers and are heavily in debt and to kick out employees. The days of keeping experienced employees are numbered because of the fast new innovations in technology and training. So drug testing becomes a tool like many other things to justify weeding out employees for the many new college graduates who are pre-trained through computer games, technical devices, and watching reality shows were kicking out people becomes part of life.

    7. lockedoutofmyshed says:

      in my opinion, drug testing is a ploy for the feds to get what they want.it would not suprise me that employers are offered some kind of incentive of tax savings from our government to drug test!it may also come from our wonderful insurance industry what is in bed with our government as well! it sucks that our government can use our employment as a form of conformance to law regardless of ,if it is right or , in this case of cannabis….WRONG!! my employer of 35 yrs began hair testing almost 5 yrs ago citing, safety issues, yet our safety record has not changed since….you tell me!…

    8. scott says:

      this is one of the most important parts. You can’t dabble in marijuana. if you smoke its in you for a very long time, so basically your in or out. you can test positive 4 weeks later. CDL drivers have a legal 4 hour rule which states:
      no alcohol within four hours of driving commercially. So if you smoke 4 weeks before driving your out, but if you have a beer with lunch you can drive a truck at dinner time. which means even if you visited a legal state and smoked, four weeks later you could get drug tested and your fired.

    9. HR says:

      I do not want to work with or around anyone that is impaired by anything it is a safety issue; but urine and hair samples can only determine if you were impaired last week or last month and most informed people have known that for 20 years; my job does not pay me to get high but when I clock-out it doesn’t pay me at all!!!!!!

    10. Jimmy says:

      Please change this law, it is unfair to humans in pursuit of any righteous freedoms. In the name of Jesus.