New York became the 23rd state to legalize marijuana for medical use in 2014. As with any new legislation, the rules for prescribing, distributing, and manufacturing buds to people in need still have to be hashed out.
Here’s what you need to know right now about New York’s medical marijuana law.
#1. Don’t expect movement until 2016. Things are moving pretty slowly in the state. The primary concern is how marijuana will affect the workplace, since it is being used as prescription medication. Carrying a registration ID and committing to not taking marijuana at work will likely be mandatory.
#2. You can’t smoke it. The rules for medical marijuana in New York require that people eat edibles it instead of smoking it.
#3. Drug testing laws won’t exempt medical marijuana. Employers will have the ability to drug test anyone who appears to be impaired at work. This means someone could be disciplined for testing positive for THC, even though they have a disability and qualify as a protected class.
#4. There is no current definition of impairment. If the New York law stays as it is, then the employer could potentially define what qualifies as being impaired by medical marijuana. Expect more zero tolerance policies to be put into place since marijuana stays in the system for some time.
There will be growing pains in 2015 as New York sorts out their regulations. Despite the difficulties, there is hope on the horizon. People in NY will be able to have access to medical marijuana soon and those nagging health issues can finally be properly treated.