Here you will find literary tidbits on state and federal legislation as it relates to the Human Resources field. Laws are constantly changing and staying up-to-date is imperative as an HR Professional. We hope you find this blog a useful tool for answering questions and raising awareness of legislative issues. Would you like to contribute to this blog? Is there a specific topic you would like to see addressed here? If so, please contact NOARK Legislative Chair at eat1@eau1eav1eaw1.
June 26, 2023
On June 14th, a Judge in Pulaski County Circuit Court, Judge Morgan “Chip” Welch, issued a ruling stating that all 27 of the amendments to the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment passed by the Legislature are unconstitutional.
According to Arkansas SHRM State Council Government Affairs Director Steve Schulte, this ruling could also nullify the safety-sensitive clause the legislators added. Among all the things that the judge’s ruling could nullify, that is the one that stood out to me that could cause the greatest concern for employers.
Most employers in Arkansas believe marijuana testing is necessary for safety-sensitive jobs, and many have added that clause to their drug policies. So if the judge's decision is upheld, employers will have to modify their policies to conform to the law.
At this time, Arkansas Attorney General, Tim Griffin, indicated that he felt the order was in error, and his office was exploring what to do with current laws. He stated that the state marijuana industry should continue to act as if the law were still in effect, which I’m assuming applies to employers with the at-risk clause included in their company’s drug policy.
NORARK’s legislative affairs will continue to monitor this situation and keep members updated.