Safety and OSHA News

What Would You Do? Can you hire applicant who uses medical marijuana?

Here’s a challenging scenario: A prospective new hire seems perfect for a position in the shipping office, but she is a legal user of medical marijuana. Company policy says employees can use medical marijuana as long as they’re not in a safety-sensitive position, but the policy fails to clarify what such a job is. What would you do in this situation? 

Manager Mike Kelly couldn’t help but notice the look of disappointment on Supervisor Janet Costello’s face.

Janet was interviewing a prospective new hire for a shipping clerk position.

“Interview didn’t go too well?” Mike asked.

“No, it went very well,” Janet replied as she took a seat in Mike’s office. “That’s the problem.”

“Um, OK?” Mike said, confused.

“This applicant – Rose Cordon, is her name – is exactly what we’re looking for,” Janet said. “She had the perfect answer for every question I asked and she has a ton of experience.”

“So what’s the problem?” Mike asked.

“She has a medical marijuana card,” Janet said.

“Uh oh,” Mike said.

Is position safety sensitive?

“Yeah,” Janet said. “Exactly.”

“Is she asking to use marijuana at work?” Mike asked.

“No, but she uses it regularly off hours,” said Janet. “She has a condition that causes her a lot of pain, but she can still work.”

“Our policy allows for medical marijuana use as long as it isn’t a safety-sensitive position,” Mike said.

“Right, but what all falls under safety sensitive?” Janet asked. “She’d have to go out on the dock and put labels on freight – is that OK?”

“I don’t know, the policy isn’t exactly clear on that,” Mike said.

If you were Mike, how would you handle this situation? Let us know in the comments below.

Print Friendly

Subscribe Today

Get the latest and greatest safety news and insights delivered to your inbox.


  1. Interesting scenario. I don’t know enough about Medical Marijuana laws to suggest a solution, but it did make me think of another scenario. First off, I live and work in Texas and seeing how the ballet initiatives fare, it doesn’t appear that Texas will legalize marijuana in any form in the near future, but here’s my question. I work for a contractor company and our client has very strict rules involving background checks and drug/alcohol testing. They have a zero tolerance/no-forgiveness policy for drug use. If our client basically determines who they will allow on to their facility, then it doesn’t make a difference what our own policy is, does it? I’d like to know these things because you never know what the future will bring.

Speak Your Mind