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Legalized weed will still make you fail a drug test

Marijuana users who live in New Jersey rejoiced when Gov.-elect Phil Murphy pledged to legalize marijuana possession within the first 100 days of his administration. But what that actually means in the wider sense is still a bit hazy.

It's important to keep in mind that marijuana use and possession remains illegal on the federal level, and federal drug laws can trump state laws. There is also the issue of workplace drug testing. Nothing in the Governor-elect's proposal says that employers must hire or retain pot smokers.

If you are asked to submit to a urine or hair test for employment and test positive for pot, you likely won't get hired and could face termination. Employers retain the right to set the terms of employment at their companies, as long as they remain in compliance with state and federal anti-discrimination laws. Marijuana users are excluded from those protected classes.

What Sen. Nicholas Scutari's bill addresses is legalization of "possession and personal use of small amounts of marijuana for persons age 21 and over." The bill states that the "legal amount" is an ounce or less of pot.

Moreover, smokers won't be able to light up behind the wheel, out in public or at the bar. So while the proposal will take the heat off of some users, it's far from a green-light for all to start toking.

You can still be busted for pot if what's in your possession is over the legal amount or if you purchased it on the black market. Any type of drug charge is serious and has negative repercussions, so learn about all of your legal options for mounting a solid defense.

Source: Asbury Park Press, "NJ marijuana legalization: Can legal weed make you fail a drug test?," Mike Davis, Dec. 08, 2017

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