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New York Legalization of Marijuana Changes Drug Testing

Effective March 31, 2021, those aged 21 years and older can possess and use limited amounts of marijuana in New York. The new law amends §201-d(2) of the Labor Code prohibiting discrimination against employees who use marijuana during non-work hours off the employer’s property and not using the employers equipment or other property.
This laws means employers cannot test applicants for marijuana unless it is required by law for the position. An employer is permitted to test an employee who appears high while at work or if there is reasonable suspicion that the use is decreasing performance or creating unsafe working conditions. An employer is allowed to test if a failure to test would result in a loss of a federal contract or federal funding.
The law does try to limit how much an individual can legally possess: up to 3 ounces of cannabis and only 24 grams (a little less than an ounce) of concentrated cannabis. Above this level, it is unlawful possession and the law has several levels of violations from an infraction to a felony, depending on the amount that is possessed.