Alaska - Considerations for Marijuana in the Workplace
Medical Marijuana Law:
Recreational Marijuana Law:
No Broad Laws Legalizing Marijuana*:
*Marijuana is either totally illegal, or there may be laws decriminalizing possession, or use of marijuana, or, the state may have a CBD law legalizing THC at a level constituting marijuana-derived CBD.
Nothing in law requires any accommodation of medical marijuana use in any place of employment and that employers can make their own rules about use. However, due to case decision in Luedtke v. Nabors Alaska Drilling, to discipline or fire an employee for drug test results, there must be some “nexus between the use and the work.”
No use in public except state-sanctioned places.
Smoking is permitted.
State-operated insurance does not cover the costs of marijuana.
Other Impacting Laws
(e.g., drug testing, workers’ compensation, unemployment)
Alaska has a voluntary drug testing law and an unemployment law with many details about drug testing. Although not required, these statutes provide extensive legal protections for employers complying with these voluntary laws including greater latitude to deny workers’ compensation and unemployment claims.
Alaska addresses drug testing in their unemployment law with many details. An insured worker is disqualified from receiving benefits if he or she was discharged for misconduct including a violation of an employer’s policy concerning the use of drugs or alcohol. This is only true if the employer’s drug-free policy and program are consistent with Alaska’s voluntary drug testing law and specifications in the unemployment law.
An injury is not compensable if the injury was proximately caused by employee’s intoxication or under-theinfluence (unless drug prescribed by his/her physician). It is unknown whether a physician’s recommendation can qualify.
Alaska Statute 17.37, 17.38 et al – Regulation of marijuana
AS 23.30.235 – Workers’ compensation related
AS 23.20.379 – Unemployment related
AS 23.10.600 -699 – Voluntary drug testing law
This resource is designed to provide accurate information regarding the subject matter covered. It is provided with the understanding that those involved in the resource are not engaged in rendering legal counsel. If legal advice is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.
Where there are quotation marks, the language is directly from published law. This information is only a summary of some issues and it will benefit the reader to review the information in context (go to the law) and in relation to other laws (e.g. workers compensation, unemployment law).
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