As of January 1, 2018, it is legal to cultivate, manufacture, process, transport, sell and consume recreational and medical marijuana in the state of California. However, this does not preempt federal law and other state laws in the areas important to our schools.
Although marijuana use is now legal, that does not prohibit the rights of public and private employers to maintain a drug-free workplace. Nor does it require that an employer permit or accommodate the use of marijuana in the workplace. Driving under the influence of marijuana or possessing an open container of marijuana in a vehicle is also illegal.
Schools are protected by the law stating that smoking marijuana or consuming any marijuana products within 1,000 feet of a school, day care, or youth center while children are present is illegal. It is also illegal to possess marijuana or marijuana products on the grounds of a school, day care, or youth center while children are present.
In considering workers’ compensation and marijuana legalization, it is important to remember that if an incident occurs and marijuana is present, the substance is not the presumed cause in the state of California. The burden of proof of intoxication is up to the employer.
Since this is a relatively new law, we know there will be further changes in the coming months and years, but not much has changed for schools and employers for now.