Q & A: Marijuana Use & Federal Employment

With so many states legalizing medical and recreational marijuana, many federal employees are wondering if these laws impact their employment agreements and employment eligibility. We answer some of the common questions we have been asked about marijuana use and federal employment law.

Question: Since marijuana was recently legalized in Canada, can a U.S. federal employee be charged / fired for using the drug in Canada?

A: While marijuana is indeed legal for adults in Canada, it is still considered misconduct for federal employees and grounds for disciplinary action. In a 2015 memo, then-OPM Director Archuleta said that “Marijuana is categorized as a controlled substance under Schedule I of the Controlled Substance Act.  Thus knowing or intentional marijuana possession is illegal, even if an individual has no intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense marijuana.” Under these guidelines, federal employees are prohibited from using marijuana in any form, including:

  • Smoke
  • Tinctures
  • E-pens
  • Edibles

Question: What are the consequences if a federal employee fails a drug test?

A: If you are a federal employee and test positive for marijuana, you can face serious disciplinary action, including job termination. The federal government takes marijuana use seriously, regardless of whether you are using marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes, it is still misconduct. The severity of the penalty for failing a drug test will depend on the type of federal job you have.

Call Us Today to Speak to a Lawyer

At The Law Firm of John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law, PLLC, we are dedicated to helping federal workers defend their rights. Attorneys Mahoney is a former federal Administrative Judge with years of experience handling federal employment law matters. If you need legal representation, get in touch with our law firm today.

Call (202) 350-3881 to schedule your case evaluation with a seasoned Attorneys at The Law Firm of John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law, PLLC.