In the past decade, public opinion about cannabis, both for medical and recreational use, has changed drastically. In the tradition of using states as testing grounds for new ideas and policies, millions of voters in states across the US have voiced their opinion about the use of cannabis for medical purposes.

Despite these changes, employers in some states have a significant amount of discretion over whether a marijuana user, medical or otherwise, may be employed or not. This discretion, combined with the federal government’s unwavering prohibitionist attitude towards cannabis, has created a confusing situation for both employers and employees.

This course explores the various federal laws that address drug usage at the workplace and the limitations on testing employees for drug use.  We then discuss the rapidly changing state laws that give individuals the right to use marijuana for medical purposes. Included in this discussion is the distinction between states that protect an employee after testing positive for THC, and states that offer no such protections.

Finally, for states that offer employment protection for individuals that test positive for THC, we discuss how employers can compile evidence if they believe the employee has been using cannabis during working hours.

Learning Objectives
  • Explore the various Federal laws that address drug usage and drug testing for Federal employees and employees in specific industries.
  • Identify which states have legalized marijuana either for medical use, recreational use, or both.
  • Discover which states provide protections for employees that use marijuana outside of the workplace.
  • Discover ways employers can compile information to terminate employees for marijuana use without creating future problems for the company.
Last updated/reviewed: August 16, 2023
Course Search
Course Complexity: Intermediate

No Advanced Preparation or Prerequisites are needed for this course. 

Education Provider Information
Company: Illumeo, Inc., 75 East Santa Clara St., Suite 1215, San Jose, CA 95113
Contact: For more information regarding this course, including complaint and cancellation policies, please contact our offices at (408) 400- 3993 or send an e-mail to .
Instructor for this course
Course Syllabus
  Introduction to Medical Marijuana in the Workplace8:22
  Part I: Federal Laws Addressing Drugs in the Workplace (Continued) 7:58
  Part II: State Laws that Address Medical Marijuana Use10:38
  Part II: State Laws that Address Medical Marijuana Use (Continued)8:51
  Part III: Enforcement Issues8:46
  Medical Marijuana in the Workplace52:00
  Slides: Medical Marijuana in the WorkplacePDF
  Medical Marijuana in the Workplace Glossary/IndexPDF