Alaska Drug And Drug Testing Laws. Medical Marijuana Laws

Alaska officially became the third U.S. state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for personal use of adult of 21 years of age or more. This happened after the 53% of state voters approved it in November of 2015. The provision allows adult of 21 years of age or more to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, and to grow up to six marijuana plants within their premises.

The evolution of Alaska marijuana laws can be dated back to 1972 when Attorney Irwin Ravin was accosted by the police in Anchorage while driving with his car’s taillight broken. During that time, Ravin was also found in possession of marijuana but refused the signing of a ticket. He appealed his case, and three years after, the case was raised to the Alaska Supreme Court. In his defense, he requested using the right to privacy as his rallying point, and it paid off. The high court ruled in his favor, and hence, Alaska, in virtue, became the first state to legalize the in-home use of marijuana. This previous Supreme Court’s decision became the basis for the subsequent 1998 legalization of the use of marijuana for medical use.

Alaska Medical Laws on Marijuana

November 3, 1998, marked the approval of Ballot Measure 8. This measure allowed patients who carry a letter of recommendation from a licensed physician to possess, use, and cultivate marijuana for medical use legally. Moreover, to have full legal protections in using marijuana for medical use, a patient must register oneself with the state patient registry. The patient should also apply to the Alaska Bureau of Vital Statistics to avail of a medical marijuana card as indicated in the Senate Bill 94 amendment of June 2, 1999.

The conditions approved for the medical use of marijuana in the state include cachexia, cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS, Multiple sclerosis, and many other medical conditions. The legislative likewise updated the Alaska Statute Title 17 Chapter 37, allowing for the creation of a confidential statewide registry of caregivers and marijuana patients.

The Drug Laws of Alaska

You should have an overview of the Drug laws of Alaska to ensure that you would not run afoul of the law in that state. The evolution of the laws on marijuana, as mentioned above started in 1975. Then in 1982, marijuana had been decriminalized; in 1990, however, it was re-criminalized, only to be decriminalized again in 2003. In 2014, the legislature of Alaska voted to tax and regulate marijuana production, sale, and eventual use. This measure, named “Alaska Measure 2” took effect on February 24 of 2015, which allowed Alaskans aged 21 and above to possess marijuana up to an ounce and to plant up to six plants.

In 2016, Alaska government was able to collect and raise up to $80,000 in taxes from cannabis. The taxes on marijuana include $50/oz for cannabis buds and $15/oz for stems and leaves. In 2017, there was a legislative proposal to ban stores and shops from advertising marijuana discounts to military personnel who are in active duty.

The recreational use of marijuana in Alaska for adults aged 21 and above is legal. However, there are certain prerequisites and limitations to this provision. First, it is illegal to use marijuana in public. Second, you are not allowed to give marijuana to minors. You can also be charged with a crime if you are driving under the influence (DUI); hence, you are not allowed to drive if you are high on marijuana. Moreover, adults aged 21 and above can possess and grow marijuana plants up to six plants, and only three of these plants should be flowering at one time. Here are some basic penalties regarding the possession and distribution of marijuana beyond what the laws prescribe:

  • If you are found with 1 to 4 oz of marijuana in your residence, you will have no offense.
  • If you are caught with 1 to 4 oz of marijuana outside, you will be charged with a misdemeanor and up to 1-year imprisonment, plus $10,000 maximum fine.
  • For 4 oz or more, you will be charged with a felony, plus up to 5 years of imprisonment, and $50,000 maximum fine.
  • For any amount within 500 feet from school grounds or recreational centers, you will be charged with felony, plus 5 years of imprisonment, and $50,000 maximum fine.
  • If you are caught with any amount of marijuana with the intent to distribute, you will be charged with a misdemeanor, 1 year of imprisonment, and $10,000.
  • Lastly, if you caught with 1 oz or more, your charge will be felony, 5 years of imprisonment, and up to $50,000 fine.

Can Employers Demand Drug Tests on their Employees?

Alaska legislature has promulgated laws governing drug tests at work, and like in other states, it is permissible for employers to require drug testing under certain conditions and as long as employers comply with the procedural rules. Employers likewise can require job applicants to undergo drug tests as long as it is the job-related purpose and based on the terms and policy of the employers. Employers can require employees to undergo drug tests under the following conditions:

  • On reasonable suspicion for drug use
  • To maintain the level of safety, quality, productivity, and security within the workplace
  • As part of an investigation over an accident within the workplace

Thirty-day notice to the employees and a statement of written policy are generally required from the employers. Confidentially likewise on the test results should be practiced. Drug testing also is considered under work time. Onside testing is neither prohibited nor it is mandatory.

Arizona drug laws

Like most US states, Arizona follows complex and strict drug laws. Sentences here range a lot according to your case circumstances.

As for possession of illegal substances laws in Arizona, they are serious, and all criminal charges are strictly prosecuted. Even a simple possession can make you have some prison time, criminal history record and bad reputation. It can be a possession of just a small amount of oxycodone or cocaine not authorized to you. There is a basic description of laws and probable penalties you may get n Arizona for drug possession.

Drug classification in Arizona

The charge you can face for possession of illegal substances in this state depends on the drug type. Arizona provides a very clear designation way of different drugs and then prescribe certain punishment for their designations. According to Arizona law, controlled substances are the following:

  • Narcotics
  • Dangerous Drugs
  • Marijuana

Narcotics Possession

Narcotics possession is charged for finding a person with heroin, opium, oxycodone, cocaine, morphine, and others. Such an offense is considered a Class 5 Felony charge and threatens a person with a possible 18-month sentence in prison.

Dangerous drugs possession

Dangerous drugs are LSD, methamphetamines, steroids, mescaline, psilocybin mushrooms, GHB, clonazepam, ecstasy, and others. For dangerous drugs possession, a person will collide with Class 1 Misdemeanor charges, around six months in prison, and fines around $2,500.

Marijuana possession

Arizona marijuana laws are in fact more complex than more dangerous and addictive drugs laws. Less than two pounds possession is considered a Class 6 felony and threatens a person with feasible 12 months in prison.

Rules for employees

Employers in this state can (but are not forced) require their applicants to perform a drug test as an employment condition. The employer has to inform his applicants about required testing for illegal substances. An employer may decide not to hire employees who will not accept screening for illicit drugs.

This test is admitted for any purposes related to job process necessity, like:

  • to provide safety, productivity, quality, security;
  • as a process of an accident finding reasons or investigation of potential employee impairment, or reasonable drug using suspicion;
  • to perform a random drug screening.

Procedural and notice rights for employees

Employers in Arizona conducting drug tests have to adopt a test policy and provide it to their employees before taking samples. The policy should give specific information about the screening program, and all consequences of positive or negative testing results.

Arizona laws also specify all procedures for taking samples, testing process and maintaining confidentiality, which employers must use. A second screening must reaffirm positive results of an employee with the use of different chemical processes than used in the first one.

Legal claims

Many employees can have legal claims because of the conducting test way or the ways their results were used.

There are several examples:

Violation of drug procedures and laws in Arizona. All the requirements of the state have to be applied to legal testing. Arizona employers who do not provide the compulsory notice of their testing policy or do not observe procedural rights (like, by failing to perform a confirmation screening after initial positive results, or by allowing their unauthorized personnel to conduct the test procedure) can face some legal problems.

Discrimination against disabled people. The Americans protect applicants or employees who are using disability medication with Disabilities Act. Several prescribed medicines that could be otherwise illegal (like, opiates) can be formally prescribed for specific conditions. If applicants are turned down with positive illegal substances results and their medications were officially prescribed for a disability so that this company can be liable.

Other claims for discrimination. If employers choose certain groups of their employees (by race, age, gender) for drug screening, they can face a claim for discrimination.

Privacy invasion. Even employers who are permitted or required to perform a test cannot violate employee privacy in conducting the test. For example, they can not require employees disrobing or providing urine samples in front of other people that might be privacy violations.

Defamation. All employees can have valid defamation claims if their employers say about positives, but employers have real reasons to be sure that the screening could not be accurate. Such a situation may happen if a retesting shows that the first screening gave false positive results, but an employee uses as the true one the first test.

California Drug And Drug Testing Laws

California permits marijuana use, but its possession, use, and distribution for medical as well as recreational use are subject to specific regulations. The state has been at the forefront of legalizing marijuana. It legalized the medical use of marijuana in 1996 earlier than most other states. The legalization of recreational marijuana, however, started in 2016 when voters okayed the amendment on legalizing recreational use of marijuana.

Medical Marijuana Laws of California

The California Medical Marijuana Program was soon established when the medical cannabis proposition (Compassionate Use Act of 1996) was approved by the majority of voters on the 5th of November 1996. The section on the California Health and Safety Code was then modified to allow qualifying patients to legally obtain, grow, and use marijuana for medical purposes as per the recommendation of a licensed doctor. This Act likewise mandated a statewide lifting of prohibitions and penalties on the medical use of marijuana.

Subsequent amendments and Supreme Court rulings, however, clarified some of the vague wording on the Proposition 215. The Senate Bill 420, for example, of 2003 clarified the difference between patients and non-patients, and Governor, Gray Davis signed this clarification bill into law. This law likewise established an identification card system for qualifying patients and provisioned the formation of non-profit organizations or collectives that would provide the medical marijuana needs of patients. A crackdown on marijuana dispensaries, however, occurred on October 7 of 2011 that eventually subsided anyway.

Drug Possession Laws of California

The state of California still categorizes marijuana as a Schedule I hallucinogenic substance based on the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act. However, On November 8, 2016, the Proposition 64 which is also called the “Adult Use Marijuana Act” was okayed by voters and this law allowed persons aged 21 years of age or above who don’t belong to Medical Cannabis Program to legally grow up to six plants of marijuana and “to possess up to one ounce of flower and/or up to eight grams of concentrates.”

This law likewise directs the licensing of commercial cannabis production and of the retail sales of marijuana. Licenses for the cultivation and business establishment will be issued in 2018. The state however still regulates the possession, use, selling, and cultivation of marijuana, and here the concomitant penalties and punishment for the violations of these regulations:

  • If you are caught possessing more than 28.5 grams, you will be charged with a misdemeanor, punishment of up to 6 months incarceration, and fine of up to $500.
  • If you are caught with 28.5 grams or less and you are 18 years of age or above, and you are caught within the school grounds, you will be charged with a misdemeanor, with up to 10 days of imprisonment and a fine of up to $500.
  • If you are younger than 18 years of age, you will be charged with a misdemeanor and would be penalized with a fine of up to $250 (first offense) and $500 maximum fine or commitment to a detention center for up to 10 days.
  • If you are caught with intent to distribute more than one ounce of marijuana, you will be charged with a misdemeanor, with 6 months of imprisonment, and a maximum fine of $500.
  • If you sell and deliver without a license any amount of marijuana, you will be charged with a misdemeanor with up to six months in jail, and a maximum fine of $500.
  • If you are 18 years of age and above, and you attempted to deliver any amount of marijuana to a 14-17 years old individual, you will be charged with a felony, with 3-5 years of imprisonment.

Can Employers Require their Employers to Undergo Drug Tests?

The state of California has regulations on drug testing in the workplace. For pre-employment and after employment testing, employers can require drug tests after a conditional offer of the job has been made to an applicant. Employers, however, are not required to conduct routine or random drug testing, but they can do so under certain statutory requirements:

  • If there is a reasonable suspicion that his/her use of drugs impairs an employee.
  • If there was an accident that caused injury, damages, and death in the workplace.

San Francisco has enacted a city ordinance pertinent to drug testing employees. Hence, it would be wise to consult legal counsel when conducting drug testing at the workplace in San Francisco area. Employers engaged in the operation of commercial transportation can also require their employees to undergo drug tests.

Ohio Drug And Drug Testing Laws

The state of Ohio permits the use of medical marijuana since Bill 523 was signed into law last May 10, 2016. Ohio, however, does not allow the recreational use of marijuana and has decriminalized possession of 100 grams or less of marijuana within the state.

Medical Marijuana Laws of Ohio

The pivotal point in the fight to legalize medical marijuana in Ohio happened when on May 10, 2016, House Bill 523 was unanimously approved by the House, and subsequently passed by the Senate fifteen days after. Ohio Governor John Kasich then signed the bill on the 8th of June 2016 and its effectivity was set on September 2016.

The law allowed for the medical use of marijuana for qualifying patients who have debilitating medical conditions as indicated under the bill, and it also directed the establishment of the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program. Under this law, physicians who want to participate in this program would be required to get a license from the State Medical Board of Ohio before they can qualify for evaluating patients. The House Bill 523 also allows qualifying patients to get their supply of marijuana for 90 days.

Drug Possession Laws of Ohio

Ohio has decriminalized the possession of up to 100 grams of marijuana, but any possession of marijuana which is more than that is punishable with up to 30 days of imprisonment and fine of $250. There was a decriminalization initiative that was included in the ballots of 2016 election, and it was about Issue 3 that would supposedly legalize recreational use of marijuana by persons of 21 years of age or above. This initiative was turned down by the majority of 2016 voters. Hence, at present, possession, use, and distribution of marijuana within the state are still illegal, save for the medical use of marijuana. Here are the accompanying punishments and penalties for the violations of any of the marijuana laws of the state:

  • If you are caught with less than 100 grams of marijuana, you will be slapped with a minor misdemeanor, punishable by a $150 fine.
  • If you are caught with 100 to 200 grams, you will be charged with a misdemeanor, up to 30 days imprisonment, and a maximum fine of $250.
  • If you are caught with 200 to 1,000 grams, you will be charged with a felony, up to a year of imprisonment, and a maximum fine of $2,500.
  • If you are caught with 1,000 to 20,000 grams, you will be charged with a third-degree felony, 1 to 5 years of imprisonment, and fines of $5,000 to $10,000.
  • If you are caught with 20,000 to 40,000 grams, you will be charged with a second-degree felony, 5 to 8 years of imprisonment, and up to $15,000 fine.
  • If you are caught with more than 40,000 grams, you will be charged with a second-degree felony, with at least 8 years of incarceration, and up to $20,000 fine.

The sale or distribution of marijuana has the following punishments and penalties:

  • If you gift 20 grams or less of marijuana, you will be slapped with a minor misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $150. A second offense of this nature means crime, with maximum imprisonment of up to 60 days, and a maximum penalty of $500.
  • If you are caught selling 200 grams, you will be charged with felony, maximum imprisonment of 12 months, and fine of up to $2,500.
  • If you are caught selling 200 grams to 1,000 grams, you will be charged with fourth-degree felony, maximum imprisonment of 18 months, and fine of up to $2,500.
  • If you are caught selling 1,000 to 20,000 grams, you will be charged with a third-degree felony, 1 to 5 years of imprisonment, and fine of up to $10,000.
  • If you are caught selling 20,00 to 40,000 grams, you will be charged with second-degree felony, maximum imprisonment of 12 months, and fine of up to $2,500.
  • If you are caught selling more than 40,000 grams, you will be charged with a second-degree felony, 8 years mandatory imprisonment, and a maximum fine of $20,000.

If you are caught selling to a minor or within one thousand feet of a school or 100 feet of a juvenile, or if you had a previous drug conviction, you will be charged with a felony and additional concomitant penalties.

Can Employers Require their Applicants and Employees to Undergo Drug Tests?

Drug tests in the workplace are not prohibited in Ohio; in fact, employers are encouraged to conduct drug tests to ensure that work is a safe place to work in. However, drug testing on applicants should be done according to the statutory requirements of federal law and the state:

  • Employers can require their applicants to undergo drug tests, provided the applicants are given advanced notice to the applicant. Moreover, applicants that are offered conditional job employment may be required to take drug tests.
  • If there is a reasonable suspicion of substance abuse, employers can require an employee to undergo a drug test.
  • If there is an accident that caused injury, damage to properties, and death in the workplace, employees can be randomly tested within a specified time.
  • Employers are required to shoulder the costs of drug tests or confirmatory tests.
  • Confirmatory tests should be provided those employees who tested positive.
  • The only licensed laboratory should conduct drug tests.
  • Tampering on the test results is punishable by the law.

Utah Drug And Drug Testing Laws

The state of Utah still prohibits the use, distribution, or cultivation of marijuana within the state. Utah likewise doesn’t have a medical marijuana program. However, the use of non-psychoactive CBD oil for the treatment of severe epilepsy is permitted within the state.

Medical Marijuana Laws of Utah

Utah has approved the use of CBD oil for the treatment of severe epilepsy. Aside from this use, marijuana is not allowed to be used for other medical purposes. The CBD legalization happened in 2014 when Governor Gary Herbert signed the House Bill 115 into law. This law legalizes the possession of low-THC CBD oil for registered patients with intractable epilepsy who have recommendations from physicians. This law, however, did not provide any legal means on how patients would acquire the CBD oil within the state.

Subsequent bills like the Senate Bill 259 were proposed in 2015. This SB 259 was supposed to allow the medical use of marijuana for many other debilitating conditions. The bill, however, was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 15-14. In 2016, Senate Bill 73 was passed by the Senate but failed in the House Health and Human Services Committee. Similarly, Senate Bill 89 was passed in the Senate and was approved by the House Health and Human Services Committee.

However, it was not considered by the full House. A non-binding resolution was then proposed which would reclassify marijuana into Schedule II controlled substances. This reclassification would permit studies on marijuana for medicinal reasons.

Drug Possession Laws of Utah

The recreational use of marijuana is prohibited in the state, and for this reason, you will be charged with a criminal offense if you tinker with marijuana when in the state of Utah. Here are the punishments and penalties for violations of Utah marijuana laws:

  • If you are caught in possession of less than one ounce, you will be charged with Class B misdemeanor, with up to 6 months of incarceration, and a maximum fine of $1,000. A second conviction of the same nature would be a class A misdemeanor, and a third offense would be a third-degree felony.
  • If you are caught with one ounce to one pound, you will be charged with class A misdemeanor, with up to one year of imprisonment, and a maximum fine of $2,500.
  • If you are caught with 1 lb to 100 lbs, you will be charged with a third-degree felony, up to five years of imprisonment, and up to $5,000 fine.
  • If you are caught with 100 lbs or more, you will be charged with a second-degree felony, 1 to 15 years of imprisonment, and a maximum fine of $10,000.

The distribution and selling of marijuana are punishable under the laws of Utah. If you are caught selling any amount of marijuana, you will be charged with a second-degree felony, up to 5 years of imprisonment, and up to $5,000 fine. If you are caught selling in the presence of a minor, or within a thousand feet of a school or designated areas, your sentence will be further aggravated. The cultivation likewise of marijuana in Utah is punishable depending on the amount of marijuana you are cultivating.

Can Employers Require their Applicants and Employees to Undergo Drug Tests?

The Utah Drug and Alcohol Testing Act (UDATA) primarily governs the pre-employment and employment drug and alcohol testing in Utah. This Act regulates all private employers within the state. It requires drug tests for applicants and employees of various organizations that are designated to store or transfer nuclear or radioactive waste within and along the exterior boundaries of Utah. Employers, however, may conduct drug tests on the following conditions:

  • To investigate the possible impairment of employee due to the drug.
  • To investigate theft or workplace accidents.
  • To maintain safety for the public and employees.
  • To maintain product and service quality, productivity, and security of property or information.

Utah employers should shoulder the costs of drug testing. Drug tests in Utah can either be done outside or within the workplace. Employers have the right to use a test result or the refusal of an employee to take a test as a basis for rehabilitative or disciplinary actions.

Louisiana Drug And Drug Testing Laws

The medical use of marijuana in Louisiana has been legal since 2015; however, the recreational use of marijuana is still illegal in the state. Hence, if you intend to smoke pot in the state of Louisiana, you should repent, for you may end up incurring charges for the violations of the state laws on marijuana. In New Orleans, however, possession of marijuana has been decriminalized within the city.

Medical Marijuana Laws of Louisiana

On June 30, 2015, the then Governor Bobby Jindal had signed House Bill 149 which establishes the framework for the dispensing of marijuana for medical purposes. This bill, however, failed because of error in the bill’s wording which instead of using “recommend” made use of “prescribe.” The failed bill was then amended and proposed as Senate Bill 271 which was then signed by Governor John Bel Edwards on May 19, 2016.

This law allowed the medical use of marijuana for patients with qualifying debilitating medical conditions. However, the bill does not provide legal protection for patients, distributors, and growers. Hence, another bill, namely, Senate Bill 180 was then signed by the Governor that provides an exemption from criminal liabilities for those who legally possess medical marijuana.

This bill, however, overlooked the providing of legal protection for those who would cultivate marijuana for medical use. Hence, at present, this problem is still being ironed out in the Legislature.

Drug Possession Laws of Louisiana

The possession, use, and distribution of marijuana are still strictly prohibited in the state. The state likewise classifies marijuana as a Schedule I(C) Hallucinogenic Substance, and as such it is a controlled substance. Hence, before you even play around with marijuana, you should at least know the following punishments and penalties concomitant with any violation concerning the use distribution, and selling of marijuana within the state:

  • If you are caught with 14 grams or less of marijuana, you will be fined $300 and/or maximum 15 days of imprisonment.
  • If you are caught with14 grams but less than 2 ½ pounds of marijuana (first offense), you will be fined with $500 or/and up to 6 months of imprisonment, and there will be a one-time two-year cleansing period for any first-time conviction.
  • For other convictions with less than 2 ½ pounds, you will be fined $1,000, and/or up to 6 months of incarceration. For third convictions, you will be fined $2,500 and up to 2 years of imprisonment. Fourth convictions will entail a fine of $5,000 and up to 8 years in prison.
  • If you are caught with 2 ½ but less than 60 pounds, you will be punished with 2 to 10 years of imprisonment, and a maximum fine of $30,000.
  • If you are caught with 60 but less than 2,000 pounds, you will be charged with a felony, 5-30 years of imprisonment, and fine of $50,000 to $100,000.
  • If you are caught in possession of 2,000 but less than 10,000 pounds, you will be charged with a felony,10 to 40 years of imprisonment, and fine of $100,000 to $400,000.
  • If you are caught with10,000 pounds or more, you will be charged with felony, plus 25 to 40 years of imprisonment.

The distribution of marijuana is strictly prohibited within the state and violations of the laws on distribution entail the following penalties and punishments:

  • If you are caught distributing or cultivating marijuana, you will be charged with up to $50,000, and 5 to 30 years of imprisonment. Subsequent offenses entail 10 to 60 years of imprisonment and a maximum fine of $100,000. Your punishments will be further aggravated if you are selling to minor or selling near or within a school premise.

Can Employers Require Employees and Applicants to Undergo Drug Tests?

Louisiana does not restrict or prohibit drug testing of applicants and employees. However, employers should conduct drug tests according to the statutory requirements of the state laws and federal law.

  • Employees of state contractors and state are undoubtedly subject to random drug tests.
  • Those who are also employed in safety-sensitive positions are subject to random drug tests.
  • Public employers, however, are required to publish their drug testing policy.
  • Employers should shoulder the costs of drug testing.
  • Substance and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) should conduct confirmatory tests on those employees who would test positive.
  • Employers could require random drug tests if there was an accident that caused injury, death, or damages to properties within the workplace.
  • Drug test results should be kept confidential.

Michigan drug laws

Employers in Michigan are free to perform the testing policy according to their discretion. Mostly the state itself determine if hirers may test their workers for the user of banned substances. The state also has special rules for medical marijuana usage.

Drug testing rules

The state has no statue law about drug testing among private employment. It is among those states that have no rules in this procedure, meaning that the screening process is not restricted or prohibited, while it does not violate legal provisions, like a prohibiting discrimination law. A workplace testing for banned substances using is classified as a required medical examination, which is not ruled.

The Penal Code of Michigan establishes that it is unlawful for all employers to force new or continuing workers to pay for a medical examination, requested by employers. Offenders may be charged with $100 for each violation instance.

Michigan marijuana laws

The local laws allow the medical marijuana usage by patients registered with the state, who have valid registry identification cards. Such qualifying patients cannot be prosecuted, arrested, penalized, denied any privilege or right, because of lawful possession or medical marijuana usage. These people are not allowed to possess more than 2.5 ounces of this medicinal substance.

Michigan rules do not allow patients using marijuana with constitute negligence, professional malpractice, or engage in its medical using, in a school bus, any primary, secondary, preschool school territory, or in any correctional facilities. Individuals cannot use this banned substance allowed for them on any public transportation forms or in any public areas. They may not navigate, operate, or be present in actual physical control of any aircraft, motorboat, motor vehicle, while under marijuana influence.

Hirers are not required to allow the marijuana ingestion in any workplace or any workers being at the workplace under this substance influence. The state does not prevent local employers from taking disciplinary actions against their workers who give positive screening results for this substance using, even if its usage takes place in the medical treatment context.

Pennsylvania Drug And Drug Testing Laws

The State of Pennsylvania prohibits the use of recreational marijuana but allows the use of medical marijuana for qualified patients. The state likewise has decriminalized the possession of small amount of cannabis in some of its major cities. Philadelphia first decriminalized possession of small amount of marijuana in October 2014, followed by Pittsburgh in April 2014.

Medical Marijuana Laws of Pennsylvania

The Medical Marijuana Bill or Senate Bill 3 was approved on April 12, 2016, and by the Legislative House on April 13, 2016. The bill was then signed into law on April 17, 2016, by Governor Tom Wolf. This law removes all state-level criminal penalties regarding the use, possession, and cultivation of cannabis by qualifying patients. This law likewise directs the Pennsylvania Department of Health to implement the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program. The time frame for the implementation of this program is 14 to 24 months. The DOH would allow the registration of qualifying patients and would then issue the medical marijuana identification card. With this I.D. cards, qualifying patients can buy medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries.

Drug Possession Laws of Pennsylvania

Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, and as such, its possession, use, and distribution entail concomitant penalties and punishments. Here are the accompanying punishments and penalties for violations of marijuana laws in the state:

  • If you are caught in possession of more than 30 grams of marijuana, you will be charged with a misdemeanor, up to 30 days of imprisonment, and a maximum fine of $500.
  • If you are caught in possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana, you will be charged with a misdemeanor, with up to 1 year of imprisonment, and a maximum fine of $5,000.
  • If you are caught for the first time, you may be eligible for conditional release or probation of up to one year. A subsequent conviction can lead to a doubled penalty.

The selling and distributing of marijuana within the state are strictly prohibited and entail punishments and penalties as follow:

  • If you are caught distributing 30 g or less of marijuana without compensation, you will be charged with a misdemeanor, up to 30 days in jail, and a maximum fine of $500.
  • If you are caught distributing less than 1,000 pounds, you will be charged with a felony, up to 3 years in jail, and a maximum fine of $25,000. If you are a previous offender, you will be slapped with 3 years, and a maximum fine of $25,000. However, it depends on the discretion of the court if it wants to increase the maximum fine to exhaust the crime’s proceeds.
  • If you are caught distributing or selling 1,000 pounds or more of marijuana, you will be charged with a felony, up to ten years of imprisonment, and $100,000 maximum fine. Your penalties will be doubled if you have previous marijuana convictions.
  • If you are caught delivering within 1,000 feet of a school or 250 feet of a recreational playground, you will be punished with additional 2 to 4 years of imprisonment. Your penalties likewise will be doubled if you are caught selling to a minor.

The cultivation of marijuana of any amount in the state is a felony with 1 to 5 years of imprisonment, and a maximum fine of $15,000. You will also get your driver’s license suspended if you are convicted of any of the abovementioned offenses.

Can Employers Require their Applicants and Employees to Undergo Drug Tests?

The state of Pennsylvania doesn’t have a particular law that prohibits or restricts drug tests in the workplace. However, a common law exists on wrongful discharge together with two official provisions that regulate an employer’s drug testing program in the workplace. Here are some of the conditions that employers have to comply with when conducting drug tests in the workplace:

  • Employees of Pennsylvania transportation are required to undergo drug testing.
  • Employers can likewise require employees to undergo pre-employment drug tests.
  • Employers can also conduct random drug tests on reasonable suspicion of drug use among employees.
  • Employers could require random drug tests if there was an accident that led to the injury, death, or damage to properties within the workplace.
  • Employers likewise cannot require drug tests if there is no offer of conditional employment.
  • Employers must abide with Drug-free Workplace Act of 1988.
  • Drug tests should be kept confidential.
  • Employees who tested positive have the right for confirmatory tests.

Missouri Drug Testing Laws

Most of Missouri drug laws are harsh. Missouri drug possession laws are among the toughest in the country. The state drug tests even newborns. The mother will not be arrested if the child’s tests are positive, but the baby may be taken from the mother. Last year In this state a welfare drug testing bill became a law.

This means that all those who apply for state support have to be checked and undergo drug testing, so drug testing bills target welfare recipients, recipients of unemployment benefits, or other public beneficiaries. Besides the state is among the first to push the legislators. There are debates about the obligatory tests for legislators and authorities of the state on their own account.

Has an employee the right to test applicants or employees for drugs?

You should be aware of the actual absence of the law of the state on drug testing for prospective employers. This means that drug testing is not restricted or prohibited unless it violates the other law provisions (e.g. a law prohibiting discrimination).

The federal government demands to test in safety-sensitive industries (transportation, aviation, contractors with NASA or the Department of Defense). At the same time testing can be done for a return-to-duty procedure, pre-employment, post-accident, random or on reasonable suspicion. Missouri prospective employer may be required to take a drug test and federal laws have few limits on this procedure and do not prohibit drug tests.

More than 8% of full-time employees were reported to drug use within the last year according to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) figures. In some industries, like food service or construction, rates run up to 17%.

Which drugs are detected by tests?

SAMHSA recommends checking for the next illegal drugs:

  • amphetamines (speed, meth, Ecstasy )
  • opiates (opium, heroin, morphine, codeine)
    THC (marijuana, hash)
  • cocaine (powder, crack)
  • phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Sometimes the tests include alcohol and nicotine as well.

Which drugs are undetected?

In standard screening, urine testing does not detect alcohol, prescribed painkillers, inhalants, steroids, synthetic amphetamines, hallucinogens, “bath salt”, synthetic cannabis products.

What period drugs can be detected?

Amphetamines clear the urine in most cases in 2-3 days. Cocaine needs a few days period longer, heroin metabolites disappear within a day. Marijuana can be detected in some weeks after it was used, benzodiazepines can show a positive test up to 3 weeks after they were last used.

Can a drug test be wrong?

In most cases drug testing is accurate. Though problems of body size, water intake, “shy bladder” and some others, can complicate the testing process. Urine tests are not as sensitive as blood tests. They can’t give an exact picture of “real-time” and may show falsely positive results. False positives or negatives range about 10 %. Thus, employers often have a second confirmatory test.

Hair testing is rather accurate and shows any drugs of abuse recently used. Hair Testing in labs is regulated by SAMHSA (not FDA). This test uses radioimmunoassay technology and mass spectrometry. As hair grows out, the drugs used components are encased in its shaft. Long hair allows detecting the longer person’s drug history.

However, accredited labs on hair drug testing analyze hair within 3–4 cm of the scalp. If the required amount is not available on the head, body hair is used as a substitute. In the case of pre-employment testing, the inability to get a sample of hair may become a reason for not hiring.

Saliva / oral fluid drug tests are common for detecting the use of drugs during the last few days. Such tests become more widespread because of their convenience and inability to be adulterated. On-site oral tests are assured by the implementation of random testing programs and have proved to be the most effective kind of drug screening

What claims can be used against drug testing?

As Missouri law does not put any restrictions on drug testing, those employees who are against this procedure must rely on other legal claims and theories. Among them are:

1.Disability discrimination: medication for a disability by an applicant or an employer is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Legitimately prescribed for certain conditions, otherwise being illegal (opiates, e.g), some medications give positive results on drug tests and such tests can be put on doubt and considered illegal.

2. Other types of discrimination: an employer belonging to a certain group by race, age, or gender can issue a discrimination claim for drug testing.

3. Invasion of privacy: Having a legitimate reason to test the individual, an employer might violate employee’s privacy in the way the procedure was conducted. If the first requires employees to undress or provide a sample of urine in the presence of others, the situation can be viewed as a privacy violation.

4. Defamation: In a case when the employer publicizes a false positive result, an employee might have a valid claim for defamation.

5. Some people (especially sportsmen) claim that it is a real issue about the lack of transparency in Missouri’s drug testing. There isn’t any notice before testing and the haphazard process in selecting whom to test and at what events.

What States is Medical Weed Legal In?

In most countries, Medical Marijuana is never ever legal, regardless of attempts to push it for open use, highlighting the health benefits it carries. Specifically, in the United States, only 23 states, other than DC are allowing the Legal Weed.

These states, however, have varied laws, fees, and possession limits. Of the 24 states, possession limit ranges from a minimum of 1 ounce to a maximum of 24 Cannabis plants. These propositions started in California in 1996 and the latest additions for 2014 were Maryland, Minnesota, and New York.

Approved medical conditions of users differ between patients with non-chronic or with chronic diseases. Those who are approved to use Medical Weed are issued registry cards for identification. Below are the top 10 states with the highest Legal Weed possession limit:

1. Oregon

24 ounces minimum and maximum of 24 Marijuana plants are allowed.

2. New Mexico

6 ounces minimum and maximum of 16 Marijuana plants are allowed.

3. Washington

24 ounces minimum and maximum of 15 Marijuana plants are allowed.

4. California

8 ounces minimum and maximum of 12 Marijuana plants are allowed.

5. Rhode Island

2.5 ounces minimum and maximum of 12 Marijuana plants are allowed.

6. Arizona

2.5 ounces minimum and maximum of 12 Marijuana plants are allowed.

7. Michigan

2.5 ounces minimum and maximum of 12 Marijuana plants are allowed.

8. Vermont

2 ounces minimum and maximum of 9 Marijuana plants are allowed.

9. Hawaii

3 ounces minimum and maximum of 7 Marijuana plants are allowed.

10. Nevada

1-ounce minimum and a maximum of 7 Marijuana plants are allowed.

The list is in order from the highest to the lowest. The highest possession limit allowed in Oregon, while the lowest in New Jersey where only 2 ounces is allowed. Once caught, the same state, New Jersey has the highest penalty fee which is $200 out of $200. Limits and fees may vary but what matter is the need for this. When it is not necessary, it is best that this should be avoided.