In a precedential decision, the California State Personnel Board ruled that simply testing positive for prior marijuana use isn’t enough to accurately reflect whether a worker was impaired at work and thus grounds for discipline. The impact of this new civil service rule is that the use of urine tests for cannabis will be significantly limited in state worker discipline cases.
There are a few positions, such as policing, to which the rule does not apply. Some state employees are expressly barred from using drugs at all. But otherwise, given that cannabis is legal in California, it appears the state will largely be treating it like alcohol where workers are concerned.
The personnel board, which oversees the civil service rules applicable to state employees, pointed out that urine tests are only going to reveal whether a person has used marijuana in the past. It’s no indicator of whether the person is intoxicated on-the-job, which for most employees would be the only situation in which marijuana use would matter. Continue reading