Should Marijuana Be Legalized?

1613 WordsMar 23, 20177 Pages
Due to an increased number of states legalizing the use of both medical and recreational marijuana, it has become apparent that state legislation has failed to address the legality of employers discharging employees based on the violation of drug-free workplace policies by using marijuana. As of 2016, twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws that legalize marijuana in some form (Rubin, 2016). Despite the fact that various state governments have legalized the use of marijuana, when it comes to federal law, it remains illegal. This has created discrepancies regarding drug-free workplace policies that mimic the federal policy enacted by Ronald Reagan in 1986 in Executive Order 12564 (Executive Orders, n.d.). The…show more content…
The restrictiveness of federal drug policies would only increase over the coming decades when President Ronald Reagan also prioritized incarceration of nonviolent drug users. In the 17-year period from 1980 to 1997, the number of people incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses would skyrocket from 50,000 to over 400,000 (A Brief History of the Drug War, n.d.). In 1986, Reagan also addressed the issue of drug use in the federal workplace by determining that it interfered with the efficiency of government employees and therefore should be outlawed under Executive Order 12564 (Executive Orders, n.d.). Over the past two decades, state legislation has continued to become more lenient regarding the use of marijuana for both medicinal and recreational purposes. Meanwhile, federal policies remain clear that marijuana is still an illegal substance and federal employees are still subject to Executive Order 12564. Federal agencies in states with legalized marijuana even released statements in reiterating the expectations of the federal government that their employees remain drug-free (Groden, 2014). The inconsistency that exists in the American legal system regarding the legality of marijuana use has created confusion regarding whether organizations are allowed to deny employment or terminate an employee based solely on the violation of the

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