Chamber CEO Expresses Concern About Marijuana Legalization
Recreational marijuana officially became legal in Massachusetts on Thursday.
While marijuana advocates are welcoming the new law Robert Mellion, President and CEO of the Fall River Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry, tells WBSM's Barry Richard it is creating problems for employers that have alcohol and drug use policies and try to use testing to enforce it.
"There you've got a problem with the employee potentially feeling that their rights are being discriminated against," said Mellion "and the business, in the case of testing for marijuana use, has very limited means under Massachusetts law."
Mellion says that for the most part a court order is required to conduct drug or alcohol testing.
In addition he says the law provides no clear guidelines for what can be considered intoxication.
"What technically is intoxication with marijuana? The law doesn't address that issue," said Mellion "is it three puffs from a joint, is it going to be one gummy, is it going to be three bites of a Pop Tart, what's the level of toxicity."
Mellion also says that, with the way the law is currently written, employers could be opening themselves up to potential lawsuits if they try to fire an intoxicated employee.
"You terminate somebody because you feel they were high, and you didn't test for it, you just opened yourself up to wrongful termination," said Mellion.
He also said that employer could also face liability issues if an employee causes injury to another person while on the job.
Mellion says the Legislature will have to take action to address many of the gaps that exist in the current law, something that will have to wait until they are sworn in next month.