How Will Legal Weed Affect Businesses Using Drug-Free Workplace Policies?

Peer Assistance Services Inc.

Drug-Free Workplace Policy Template 2

(Suggested language herein allows for the use of medical marijuana)


Peer Assistance Services, Inc. does not provide legal advice. 

All sample policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel prior to implementation.


This sample form is intended to assist you and your company in creating and/or maintaining a comprehensive Drug-Free Workplace (DFW) Program, compliant with the DFW Program Act of 1988 and subsequent revisions.


At any time you can elect to have free consultation and/or free customization of this template by a Drug-Free Workplace Coordinator. Simply contact the Workplace Prevention Services program at Peer Assistance Services, Inc. (PAS) by calling 303-369-0039 or 1-866-369-0039. There is no charge for this service.


How to use this form:

The following policy is a template that should be tailored to meet the specific needs of your organization. Staff at PAS specializes in establishing comprehensive DFW Programs that are designed to include the following elements:

1)      DFW Policy

2)      Supervisor Training

3)      Employee Training

4)      Drug Testing

5)      Employee Assistance Program (EAP)


This policy template includes all 5 of these elements and is consistent with the policy requirements set forth in the Drug- Free Workplace Act of 1988 and subsequent revisions.


Step 1

Determine if this is the appropriate template. Does your organization want to allow for employees to utilize medical marijuana without it negatively impacting their employment status?

  • If YES, then continue with this template.
  • If NO, refer to Template 1.


Step 2

Fill in your organization’s name in all the blank, gray boxes in the document. 


Step 3

Edit as appropriate. All text within the Word Document is unprotected to allow for editing.

  1. Delete the language stating that Peer Assistance Services does not provide legal advice.
  2. Decide which elements of the DFW Program you wish to implement.
  3. Decide what testing facility you wish to contract with/use for testing (check with your Workers Compensation carrier to determine whether testing is available on-demand at their medical facility sites).
  4. Decide what types of testing the facility will complete (breathe, urine, blood, saliva, hair, etc.).
  5. Decide the circumstances under which your organization will require drug testing (e.g., pre-employment, random, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, etc.).
  6. Decide what types of drugs you wish to test for (typically synthetic prescription drugs are not included in a “5-panel” or “7-panel.” Check with the test site to know for sure.).
  7. Is there the capacity to have positive tests confirmed with a Medical Review Officer (MRO)?
  • Will the testing site notify the employer if an employee refuses to test?
  • Does your organization have an Employee Assistance Program? If so, fill in the name of your EAP in the designated boxes.

      Drug-Free Workplace Policy

Peer Assistance Services, Inc. does not provide legal advice. All sample policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel prior to implementation.


     is committed to providing a safe work environment and to promoting and protecting the health, safety and well being of our employees. This commitment is jeopardized when any           employee engages in the use, possession, sale, conveyance, distribution or manufacture of illegal drugs, intoxicants, controlled substances, abuses prescription drugs, or alcohol. Substance abuse is a significant public health problem, which has a detrimental effect on the business community in terms of productivity, absenteeism, accidents, medical costs, theft and workers’ compensation costs. Therefore,          has established the following policy:


1)      It is violation of company policy for any employee to use, possess, sell, convey, distribute, or manufacture illegal drugs, or to attempt to do the same. It is a violation of company policy to have any detectable amounts of illegal drugs in one’s system (e.g., saliva, urine, blood).


2)      It is a violation of company policy to be impaired by alcohol anytime while on company time. It is also a violation of company policy to abuse or misusealcohol at any time while on company time, using company property, attending a company-sponsored event, conducting business, or otherwise representing the company. Alcohol and other drug abuse off the job that affects job performance may cause disciplinary action to be taken, up to and including termination.


3)      It is a violation of company policy to be impaired by any other substancewhile on company time and/or conducting company business.


4)      The possession and use of legally prescribed/recommended drugs (including medical marijuana) is prohibited if it affects the safety of employees or members of the public, the employee’s job performance, or the overall safe and efficient operation of the company. If any of these conditions exist, the employee may be required to take time off, or comply with other appropriate action determined by management (e.g., a doctor’s note indicating employee’s ability to perform required job duties safely, fitness for duty evaluation) and/or the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).


5)      The possession and use of legally prescribed/recommended drugs does not violate the policy if the following applies:

  1. Any employee taking legally prescribed drugs or over-the-counter medications will be responsible for consulting the prescribing physician and/or pharmacist to ascertain whether the drug may interfere with safe performance of his/her job duties.


  1. If the use of a drug could impair the employee’s performance and/or compromise the safety of the employee, fellow employees, and/or the public, it is the employee’s responsibility to use appropriate personnel procedures (e.g., call in sick, use leave, request change of duty, notify supervisor, notify company physician) to avoid unsafe workplace practices.


  1. If the prescribing physician has no concerns around safety or impairment while the employee is receiving a legally prescribed/recommended drug, then the employee must provide management and/or HR with documentation of either their medical marijuana card or their prescription prior to returning to work. Additionally, the employee must provide documentation from their physician affirmatively stating the physician has reviewed the employee’s job duties and determined the employee is physically fit to meet the physical/mental requirements listed in the job description while taking the drug, prior to returning to work. The employee is not to consume medical marijuana during their work shift.


  1. Any legally prescribed or recommended controlled substance (including medical marijuana) must be stored and/or kept off company property or identified work site.


6)      Violations of this policy are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.



1)      Alcohol:

Any beverage that has alcohol content in excess of .5% by volume. Alcohol means beer, wine, and all forms of distilled liquor containing ethyl alcohol. References to use or possession of alcohol include use or possession of any beverage, mixture, or preparation containing ethyl alcohol.

2)      Drug:

Any substance, other than alcohol, capable of altering the user’s judgment, perception, mood, or of impairing the user’s physical reactions. This term includes the controlled substances defined in Schedules I through V of the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C., Section 812, and any illegal drug or drug used illegally.

3)      Illegal Drug:

Any such drug as defined by local, state, or federal statutes. Any mind-altering substance, including psychoactive substance and including, but not limited to, controlled substances used without regard to standard medical practices and/or contrary to the directions provided by the physician.

4)      Controlled Substance:

The term means any drug listed in the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C., Section 812, the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, amended or any federally regulated substance including alcohol, but not including nicotine and common over-the-counter medications such as aspirin. Generally, these are drugs that have a high potential for abuse. Such drugs include, but are not limited to, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, PCP, crack, opiates, and other prescribed medications.

5)      Abuse/Misuse:

Alcohol abuse is defined by 42 CFR 2.11 as the use of an alcoholic beverage that impairs the physical, mental, emotional, or social well-being of the user. Drug abuse is defined as the use of a psychoactive substance for reasons unrelated to medicinal purposes that impair the physical, mental, emotional, or social wellbeing of the user. Misuse is the inappropriate use of any psychoactive substance. It is considered abuse/misuse to ingest prescription drugs that are 1) Not prescribed by a licensed physician; 2) taken for a reason other than for which it was prescribed; or 3) Consumed inappropriately (e.g., taking higher dosages or more frequent than prescribed by the licensed physician).


Drug-Free Workplace Program Components:

The company values its employees and recognizes the need for a balanced approach to achieving a drug-free workplace.  Our comprehensive program includes the following components:

1)                  Company Policy. Stated above.

2)                  Employee Education.                               EAP and       will provide drug and alcohol awareness information to all employees. This will include the company’s policy on drug and alcohol abuse, information on the magnitude and dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, and the availability of assessment, short term problem resolution, and treatment referral through                                EAP.

3)                  Supervisory Training.  Supervisors have a significant role in establishing and maintaining the company’s program. Their understanding and support are key factors in establishing a successful program. Supervisor training is not intended to train supervisors to be drug- or alcohol-abuse experts, counselors or to conduct medical evaluations. Supervisors are not required to undertake any actions beyond their normal supervisory responsibilities.

4)                  Employee Assistance Program.  The company recognizes that drug and alcohol abuse can be successfully treated and is committed to helping employees who suffer from these problems, while holding them responsible for their own recovery. Name Company’s EAP offers employee assistance.

5)                  Drug and Alcohol Testing.  The purpose of drug and alcohol testing is to prevent the hiring of individuals who illegally use drugs, deter employees from abusing drugs and/or alcohol, and provide early identification and referral to treatment, when necessary, for employees with drug- or alcohol-abuse problems.      is committed to promoting and maintaining a drug-free working environment for all of its employees and to promoting and protecting the safety, health, and well-being of its employees.


Alcohol & Drug Testing Referral and Administration Procedures

If impairment resulting from abuse/misuse of alcohol or drugs is suspected, employees may be referred to a testing center approved by the company/business. The type(s) of tests administered will depend on the suspected substance, but may include examinations of the employee’s breath, blood, hair, saliva, or urine. In the state of Colorado the employer is responsible to cover the cost of the drug/alcohol test. Tested employees may be billed for the cost of tests in the event of positive results. Employees may be required to test in the following circumstances:

Reason for Testing: **Note: These are testing schedule options – choose the ones that your company are most comfortable with and remove all others

  • Pre-Employment. Newly hired employees will be asked to submit to testing prior to beginning employment.
  • Random. Testing is conducted on a random basis, at random intervals. Each employee has equal likelihood of being required to test at any point in time.
  • Reasonable Suspicion. Testing that is conducted when there is information about an employee’s appearance, conduct, or behavior that would cause a reasonable suspicion that the employee may be impaired by drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Pre-Promotion. Employees offered promotions will be required to test prior to beginning in their new position.
  • Post-Accident. Testing employees who are involved in on-the-job accidents or near accidents.
  • Follow-Up. Testing employees who have violated the company’s substance abuse policy, but were given the opportunity to keep their jobs conditioned on successful rehabilitation and no further “positive” tests.


Employee Testing

1)      Testing Results:

a.        If there is no record or documentation of the prescription or medical marijuana card with the employer prior to the drug test and the test is positive, it will be considered positive even if the employee provides a prescription or medical marijuana card following the positive drug test. The positive result will be considered grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination.

b.       Confirmation screening will be conducted on all positive test results. When a confirmed positive result has been returned by the laboratory, management and/or the owner may refer to a Medical Review Officer (MRO), and/or choose to conduct an employee medical interview and/or review employee medical history and/or review any other relevant biomedical factors. The MRO must review all medical records made available by the tested employee when a confirmed positive test could have resulted from legally prescribed medication. **Note this is the ideal standard but if this is not going to occur it should be removed from the final policy. Evidence to justify a positive result may include, but is not limited to:

                                      i.      A valid prescription, or

                                    ii.      Verification from the individual’s physician verifying a valid prescription. The owner or management has the discretion to accept evidence in any manner the owner or management deems most efficient or necessary. If the owner or management/MRO determines there is not justification for the positive result, such result will then be considered a verified positive test result.

c.        If an employee refuses to take the test, it may be considered insubordination and may be grounds for disciplinary action, including termination.

d.       Failure to appear for testing will be considered refusal to participate, and may subject an employee to the range of disciplinary actions, including termination. If an individual fails to appear at the collection site at the assigned time, the collector shall contact management or the owner, and will then determine action to be taken. **Note if this is not going to occur it should be removed from the final policy.



                       has the right to conduct unannounced searches. This includes lockers, desks, or anything on the employer’s premises. Searches of employees and their personal property are to be limited to inspecting loose, unsecured personal possessions; asking the employees to turn out pockets, and to remove shoes and head coverings; and observe whatever is in plain sight. Refusal or failure to cooperate with a search may be cause for disciplinary action up to and including termination.


Return-to-Work Agreements

Following a violation of the drug-free workplace policy, an employee may be offered an opportunity to participate in rehabilitation. In such cases, the employee must sign and abide by the terms set forth in a Return-to-Work Agreement as a condition of continued employment.



                  recognizes that alcohol and drug abuse and addiction are treatable illnesses. We also realize that early intervention and support improve the success of rehabilitation. To support our employees, our drug-free workplace policy:

  • Encourages employees to seek help if they are concerned that they or their family members may have a drug and/or alcohol problem.
  • Encourages employees to utilize the services of qualified professionals in the community to assess the seriousness of suspected drug or alcohol problems and identify appropriate sources of help.
  • Offers all employees and any individuals living in their household free and confidential assistance with alcohol and drug problems through the EAP that can be accessed at any time outside of a positive drug screen.
    • Please note that there are a few exceptions to confidentiality, one of which could include a mandatory referral to the EAP for workplace performance problems, including but not limited to a positive drug screen. For additional questions about limits to confidentiality, please contact your EAP directly. 

Treatment for alcoholism and/or other drug use disorders may be covered by the employee benefit plan. However, the ultimate financial responsibility for recommended treatment belongs to the employee.


The company is balancing our respect for the individuals with the need to maintain a safe, productive, drug- and alcohol-free environment. We are offering a helping hand to those employees who need it, while sending a clear message that the illegal use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol are incompatible with employment at                         .


I have read and understand the above policy.




Employee Signature                                                                             Date




Employee Printed Name                                                                     


About fiftystatebanana

Obscurity is eternal.
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