Legal Alert: Arizona Employers Must be Ready for New Medical Marijuana Use Law


Almost two weeks after the polls closed, Arizona became the 15th state in the nation to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Proposition 203, or the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, appeared unlikely to pass early on election night. However, after the early voter and provisional ballots were finally counted, the tally put the yes votes ahead by a mere 4,341 votes out of the nearly 1.7 million cast.

The election results became official November 29, 2010. The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has 120 days from that date to promulgate regulations implementing the law. According to information from the ADHS, the agency will publish an informal draft of the regulations by December 17, 2010 and a formal draft by January 31, 2011. The agency has stated that it expects to issue final regulations by March 28, 2011. Thus, by spring of 2011, Arizona employers need to have reviewed their drug-testing and employment discrimination policies to ensure they comply with the new law.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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