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Legal pot won't lower employers' high standards

Photo: MGN, file

Legalized recreational use of marijuana is less than two weeks away in California.

However, just because it's about to be legal doesn't mean there aren't consequences for getting high. Employers still hold all the power when it comes to pot.

Proposition 64, which voters passed in 2016, actually allows employers to remain drug-free workplaces even after pot becomes legal. That means people can be denied employment or fired for smoking pot even on their own time.

Many employers, from the government all the way down to mom-and-pop shops, require new hires to pass a drug test and also regularly test current employees. The fact that come Jan. 1 recreational marijuana becomes legal in California won't change that.

Human resource officials for the city of Bakersfield, the county of Kern and the state of California told Eyewitness News all of their agencies will remain drug-free workplaces with policies prohibiting employees from using marijuana.

You may be wondering how employers can tell employees what to do when they're off the clock, but really this is common. If you get a DUI off the clock, many employers will fire you. If you come to work hungover, you can be disciplined.

Similarly, if you fail a drug test, even if you were smoking legally on your own time, there can be consequences.

So do yourself a favor and talk to your HR department to find out what your employer's policy will be next year before you toke up.

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