WOSU Radio Interviews James Shore on Impact State Legal Marijuana Has on Employers and Employees

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Stoel Rives attorney James Shore was interviewed on WOSU radio’s All Sides with Ann Fisher talk show for a segment titled “Marijuana and the Workplace.” In the show, Fisher and her guests discuss how marijuana is being dealt with in the workplace in light of the legalization of the drug in several states and the impact legalization is having on employers and employees.

Shore begins by discussing the differences between public- and private-sector employees—the majority of public-sector employees are unionized and have collective bargaining agreements. These protections have been manifested in several cases in the difference in how a judge rules versus an arbitrator—an arbitrator may tend to give less weight to the still-in-effect illegality of marijuana under federal law in a state where the drug has been legalized.

Shore also discusses the Washington Supreme Court decision in Roe v. TeleTech Customer Care Management in which the court ruled that the state’s medical marijuana law did not provide a private right of action in the workplace and noted that as long as marijuana remains illegal under federal law, it was not going to put employers in the “dilemma” of having to allow employees to engage in illegal activity.

Shore also mentions the “clarion call” of the need for action towards marijuana’s removal from federal Schedule I, so that federally-funded testing can be done to determine the medical benefits of the drug. Shore, who believes that movement towards that goal may not even begin in the next five years, says that “until it’s taken off federal Schedule I, the courts are not, the state courts are not going to get themselves in contradiction with federal law.”

Listen to the whole radio show here. Shore is introduced at 33:44.

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