Should Marijuana be made legal?
The legalization efforts in the US have begun to take hold. Many states legalized medical marijuana as there have been reputable studies conducted that prove the benefits of the THC. In the last 5 years 4 states have legalized recreational use of marijuana. This has sparked a lot of debate regarding the benefit and the workplace impacts of such a move.
Marijuana is still a federally registered illegal drug. Workplace policies and safety guidelines have not been revised to allow for positive drug test "exceptions" for marijuana.
At the core of all of this is the salient point that pro-legalization people like to bring up. If alcohol is legal and it is by far more damaging than marijuana then why is marijuana still illegal? The reason is not about the drug itself, it is much less pleasant to discuss. The US government benefited from the war on drugs and marijuana was the most available and widely used drug through the 50s and 60s. The desire to have nearly unlimited funding was too much to pass up for the politicians so here we are.
The next logical step would be to review medically available information on the affects of long term use of marijuana in the numerous methods of consumption. Following the results would be the development of a field sobriety test, like the ones established for alcohol. Adjustment of state laws for DUI enforcement for operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana would be needed before votes to allow recreational use. Once this framework is in place then company policy can be adjusted to reflect the business' acceptable use or prohibition position. A graphic design office would probably not have much of an issue with recreational marijuana users coming to work and even using during lunch or on break. A high voltage powerline worker rigged up on a 30 meter tower would have entirely different requirements to be completely sober and alert.
In conclusion I believe that the future will include recreational marijuana usage in all states of the US. It will become synonymous with smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol, and laws will reflect equivalent penalties for driving while impaired by marijuana.