Alabama Drug Testing Laws and Regulations
|Statute of Order:||Alabama Code §25-5-330 et seq.|
|Covered Employers:||All employers.|
|Applicant Testing:||Testing is authorized after applicant is given notice of drug-testing policy and a conditional offer of employment.|
|Employee Testing:||Testing is authorized, including random testing and testing on reasonable suspicion, as part of fitness-for-duty exam, after on- the-job injury, or as follow-up to a rehabilitation program. Employees must receive 60 days' advance notice of testing policy, which must be conspicuously posted.|
|Conditions & Methods:||Confirming test in case of positive result. Opportunity to contest or explain positive test within five days of receiving results.|
|Medical Marijuana Law:||
Carly’s Law also known Senate Bill 174 became effective June 1, 2014. It was signed into law by Governor Robert Bentley on April 1, 2014. It allowed the University of Alabama at Birmingham to study cannabidiol (CBD) oil and its effectiveness in the treatment of epilepsy and other seizure disorders. It was named after 3-year old Carly Chandler of Birmingham, who suffers from a severe neurological disorder.
SB 174 creates an affirmative defense for patients suffering from debilitating epileptic conditions and/or their caregivers for the use and possession of marijuana extracts high in CBD. An affirmative defense DOES NOT protect legitimate epileptic patients and their caregivers from being arrested for possession.
Leni’s Law became effective June 1, 2016. Aka House Bill 61 (HB61), it was signed into law by Governor Robert Bentley on May 4, 2016. It expands Carly’s Law by creating an affirmative defense for the use and possession of cannabidiol with THC level not to exceed 3%, by patients who suffer from specific debilitating conditions (not only epilepsy) that produce seizures; and their parents and/or caregivers. The affirmative defense now also includes patients under the care of physicians other than those connected to UAB provided they have a bona fide physician-patient relationship and the CBD provides the patient with therapeutic or palliative relief.
The law was named after 4-year old Leni Young who suffered a stroke in-utero. She suffers from epilepsy and a rare form of cerebral palsy. She and her family actually left Alabama and moved to Oregon after she was denied access to the cannabidiol study at UAB that was created by virtue of Carly’s Law.
Qualifying Medical Conditions
• Cachexia or wasting-away syndrome
• Chronic or severe pain
• Persistent severe muscle spasms
• Severe nausea
• Other severe conditions that are resistant to conventional medicine
• SB 174 is limited to low-THC extracts.
• SB 174 is limited to epileptic patients only.
• SB 174 requires a prescription by a health care practitioner from the Department of Neurology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)
Effects on Workplace Drug Testing
While both legislative actions are generally regarded as positive steps forward for Alabama on the issue of medical marijuana, it can hardly be considered a medical marijuana state, and is a long way from legalizing marijuana for recreational use. It still has some of the harshest penalties in the country as far as marijuana is concerned. Possession of even a single joint is equivalent to up to a year in jail.
The chances of having employees who are suffering from chronic debilitating conditions(and therefore needing CBD) may be slim but employers need to ensure that they are well covered under their existing (if any) drug free workplace policy.
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