By Jon Hyman
May. 5, 2016
Last month, I reported on the introduction of Ohio House Bill 523, which would legalize medical marijuana in Ohio. I suggested that the bill’s protections for employers, which go further than those of either of the two competing November ballot measures, are a good start, but would likely need some tweaks to provide employers all of the protections they need.
Yesterday, employers got some much needed help, with an amended HB 523 [pdf], which significantly expands the rights of employers in regard to employees legally using marijuana.
The bill, as it now reads still would not require an employer to permit or accommodate an employee’s use, possession, or distribution of medical marijuana. It also, however, would offer the following clear and unambiguous protections for employers.
According to the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, HB 523 provides necessary “protections for Ohio employers by enabling them to maintain safe workplaces and enforce reasonable human resources policies.” I could not agree more.
There is no doubt that medical marijuana is coming to Ohio. The question is whether it is coming via this business friendly legislation, or via the either of the business-vague ballot initiatives that would impose hard to change constitutional amendments and leave employers exposed or completely unprotected (depending on the initiative).
Last time I wrote on this issue, I opened a hail storm of a debate. I can’t wait to read the comments this time.
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