Contractors' Strategies for Dealing with Legal Pot Use

Construction workers in Colorado and Washington planning to use now-legal marijuana, even if they do it away from work on their own time, should know that doing so puts their jobs at risk.

Colorado began retail sales of recently legalized pot on the first of 2014, and Washington will soon follow suit. At least five other states—Alaska, Tennessee, Arizona, Kentucky and Florida—are considering legalization.

But even limited use of pot, legal or not, runs counter to stringent safety and drug-use policies in the inherently risky construction industry, and it will likely result in termination.

Why Contractors Can't Do Business Without a Drug Testing Policy

"Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, so, for now, stick with your current drug-use policies and procedures as long as they are carefully written," says Bob Miller, a construction attorney with Denver's Fisher & Phillips.

(more on contractor drug policy in legal-marijuana states . . . )