Legalized Marijuana Use Grounds For Termination Within A/E Firms?

March 19, 2014 at 9:48 am 2 comments

The legalization of marijuana use in Colorado and Washington is causing an uprising within the A/E marketplace.  It has been reported that firms are trying to determine policies that take in consideration federal and state laws while being mindful of employee and client safety. Speaking with operations and human resources executives on the legalized use of marijuana by employees, I am receiving one unified comment:

Marijuana use will not be tolerated-whether legal in the state the employee works or not.

Civil engineering  and architect employers believe that any potential impaired judgement could lead to fatal design issues or poor decision making. I asked several executives how recreational use of the drug  during personal hours is any different than staff consuming alcohol on their own time. Additionally, I asked “If an employee goes on vacation to Colorado or Washington, then smokes marijuana, returns and tests positive- what will happen?” I received a variety of responses to both these questions, but no clear answer. “Too many shades of gray. Employees need to take responsibility. If they are smoking in a legalized state on vacation, chances are they are smoking at their homes too.”  Emotions are running deep on this topic.

The Department of Defense has reported that contractors who test positive for any drug use may lose their security clearance. Similarly, other federal agencies require contractors/engineering firms to drug test staff working on their projects. This would clearly direct firms providing services to those agencies. Liability insurances for many firms are expected to rise.

NORML ( shares  “marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in America (behind only alcohol and tobacco), and has been used by nearly 100 million Americans. According to government surveys, some 25 million Americans have smoked marijuana in the past year, and more than 14 million do so regularly despite harsh laws against its use. Our public policies should reflect this reality, not deny it.”

Many states and many more A/E firms will be dealing with this issue in months ahead. What do you think? Carol new profile

Carol Metzner President, The MetznerGroup Managing Partner, View Carol’s profile & connect with her on LinkedIn civil engineering jobs :: civil engineering resumes :: civil engineering blog :: civil engineering discussion


Entry filed under: Civil Engineering, civil engineering blog, Civil Engineering Companies, Civil Engineering Issues, Civil Engineering Jobs, Contracting, Dealing With Clients, Human Resources, Marijuana Use, The Workplace. Tags: , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. AndreAW  |  March 30, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Weed has long lasting effects on motivation, outlook, and creativity. It helps some but holds others back but the effects last for days. If you get stoned on Friday night thinking it will have no effect on you Monday or Wednesday is a mistake.

  • 2. Coscos  |  March 20, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Hi Carol

    Thanks for a good post; I believe this serves as enlightenment to the states which have legalized marijuana. As per your topic I have an understanding that the focus is on the American society rather than the international society. Let me enlighten you of the experience I have mostly on my construction sites maybe this might serve as an eye opener to the issue of using the drug on construction sites. My construction sites are normally fair size sites, let’s say around US$10Million to US$100Million and this is where I have experienced the use of marijuana by most of the labours. I have run a question and answer dialogue to find the particular reason why the use of the drug on our construction sites and the main reason was that of high performance in terms of strength and concentration, I am not sure whether this is a proven fact but what I have realised is that after the taking of the drug by my labours they tend to perform very well and work faster without any complains or loss of strength. Many of the labour when they take marijuana they can work for long hours without eating and getting tired and that I am sure of because I have seen it happening most of the time. For professionals to take the drug during working hours I really think is a no-no and will mostly results into problem people cannot solve. Hope this help for your studies and please let me know if you need any information about the use of this drug (marijuana) by labours.


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