Drug Free America Foundation launches new Marijuana and the Workplace Tool Kit
For information contact: John Pastuovic 312-925-9092 [email protected]
For Immediate Release
St. Petersburg, FL — Tuesday, September 19, 2017- Drug Free America Foundation launched its new Marijuana and the Workplace Tool Kit this morning at a forum co-sponsored with Drug Free Manatee and the Manatee Chamber of Commerce at Pier 22 in Bradenton FL. The forum featured a presentation by Amy Ronshausen, Deputy Director of Drug Free America Foundation who unveiled the Tool Kit and discussed how the implementation of Florida’s medical marijuana program will affect employers in the state. The forum also included a panel discussion with a group of experts that includes healthcare and labor attorneys, insurance representatives and a state legislator.
As marijuana legalization efforts gain traction around the country as it has in Florida, the business community needs to be prepared. “Employers must be diligent and proactive in understanding how the use of marijuana affects individuals, the overall influence to their business, and the level of financial liability that is acceptable,” according to Calvina Fay, executive director of Drug Free America Foundation. “It is critical that an evaluation be completed based upon legitimate science, the safety-sensitive nature of the business, and risk analysis as opposed to perception and emotion,” she said.
Employees that use marijuana and other drugs negatively impact the bottom line for employers due to increased workplace accidents, injuries, and other effects, increasing the cost of doing business. “The safety of all employees, vendors, customers, other drivers, pedestrians, or generally anyone encountering an employee while driving under the influence of pot could be impacted,” said Fay.
The tangled web of conflicting and diverse laws and statutes being drawn across the country varies from state to state, from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, making this issue very confusing for all concerned. No two states’ marijuana laws are identical, further complicating the issue.
Identifying and defining liability related to marijuana use is perhaps one of the most evolving areas of risk management and insurance practices. “From the viewpoint of an insurer, the conflicting laws are particularly troublesome for insuring a business against unexpected loss with no clear best practice and can potentially impact workers compensation claims and well as health, life and other business insurance coverage and premiums,” Fay suggested.
A smart approach for employers is to implement workplace practices that encourage safe, healthy lifestyles, and discourage behaviors that are counter-productive, both from a personal and a business standpoint. “In this tumultuous time of conflicting laws, confusion, and change, employers are encouraged to stay the course where a drug-free workplace is concerned,” continued Fay. “We also encourage employers to remain consistent and fair in the application of workplace rules and procedures and to regularly review their program in relation to applicable laws, regulations and statutes that may have changed,” she concluded.
The Marijuana and the Workplace Tool Kit can be found at http://www.ndwa.org/resources/marijuana-in-the-workplace-toolkit/