The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that an employer and its workers’ compensation carrier must reimburse an injured worker for his medical marijuana expenses.  Hager v. M&K Construction, 2021 N.J. LEXIS 332 (N.J. April 13, 2021).

Hager suffered a back injury in a work-related accident in 2001.  He underwent surgeries and used opioid medications

2021 has brought a flurry of activity surrounding marijuana laws, particularly recreational marijuana use. The number of states approving recreational marijuana continues to grow.

New Mexico

On April 12, 2021, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the state’s recreational marijuana bill. The New Mexico recreational marijuana law will take effect in late June 2021.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law three marijuana reform bills on February 22, 2021. The first, New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (A21), legalizes and regulates cannabis use and possession for adults who are 21 and older. Two other laws decriminalize marijuana and hashish possession (A1897) and clarify marijuana

The Department of Transportation’s operating agencies have announced their random drug and alcohol testing rates for 2021.  The random test rates did not change for 2021.

Agency 2021 Random Drug Testing Rate 2021 Random Alcohol Testing Rate

Federal Aviation Administration

25% 10%

Federal Motor Carrier Administration

50% 10%

Federal Railway Administration

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a Notice of Enforcement Discretion Determination on July 6, 2020 concerning random drug and alcohol testing during calendar year 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, FMCSA stated that it recognizes that covered motor carriers may not be able to comply with certain testing requirements

As discussed in our previous blog post, effective May 10, 2020, covered New York City employers are not permitted to test job candidates for marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) as a condition of employment. The law, however, contains exceptions to this general prohibition on preemployment testing and an employer may require testing for job applicants

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) announced on June 5, 2020 an extension of the waiver period that is available when a commercial motor vehicle driver has been out of the random testing pool for 30 days or more and then returns to work. Ordinarily, an absence of 30 days

The Rhode Island Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit against an employer who terminated an employee for refusing to submit to a reasonable suspicion drug test, even though the employee’s odd behaviors could have been attributable to pain or other things. Colpitts v. W.B. Mason Co., Inc., No. 2018-337-Appeal (R.I. May 29, 2020).

The New York City Commission on Human Rights issued a written reminder on May 8, 2020 that the law prohibiting pre-employment marijuana testing is effective on May 10, 2020.   In addition, the Commission stated that it is finalizing rules that will expand the list of exceptions to the law.  The Commission’s statement provided:

As of