Marijuana legalization has become one hell of an uphill battle.
According to a recent poll, a full 64% of respondents believe that firing an employee for smoking marijuana during their free time in a state where it is legal would be "unacceptable." Only 22% consider it was acceptable.
Last year, Colorado and Washington became the first states in the U.S. to legalize marijuana for recreational use and sale since it was banned nation-wide back in 1937. Now that the smoke has cleared, the two states are figuring out how weed should be regulated. For state and local governments, this is indeed an entirely new terrain.
Employers clearly cannot hire or fire employees based on race, religion, or gender. But now, just as the tides are turning to add sexual orientation to that list, public opinion is moving in favor of marijuana.
This is logical. After all, marijuana is now legal in these states like how alcohol is, and people are rarely fired for drinking outside of work. Additionally, only 32% of respondents found it acceptable to fire an employee for using marijuana outside of work, regardless of the drug's legal status.
Still, state supreme courts have allowed employers to retain the right to test and fire employees for marijuana use, even if that person's use was legal. Just when it seemed that the law might actually be catching up with public opinion, users are finding that full-scale legalization is not enough to stop discrimination.