Photo via iStock/ RudyBalasko
Now that marijuana is legal for medical or recreational use in a majority of U.S. states, some employers are catching up with the times and putting an end to requirements that new hires must refrain from using pot. Cannabis use is now fully legal for adults in nine states — including Nevada — and companies are finding it difficult to source employees who choose to abstain from this newly-legal drug.
In keeping with the times, Caesars Entertainment has announced that it will cease pre-employment drug screenings for its Las Vegas employees. Under the company's new policy, only candidates being considered for transportation-related jobs will be have to undergo screening for pot use. Although the new rules leave Caesars employees free to enjoy cannabis on their own time, the company maintains that it will fire any employee who is stoned on the job.
"We just felt that given the changes in laws that were happening across the country, it was prudent for us to take a different point of view on marijuana than other drugs in the pre-employment screening process,” explained Rich Broome, vice president of communications at Caesars, to NBC affiliate KSNV. “[It’s] very different when you’re at work. If you’re high at work, we will test. And if you have the presence of drugs in your blood stream, it can be cause for dismissal."
Caesars staff will not only be keeping their eyes open for stoned employees, but blazed gamblers as well. The Nevada Gaming Commission requires casinos to eject patrons who are too drunk to gamble, and have recently clarified that these regulations apply to patrons overly intoxicated by pot, too. But while casinos are free to serve booze to anyone who isn’t too tipsy, all consumption of cannabis on casino grounds remains banned.
Consequently, tourists traveling to Vegas to sample Nevada's legal weed are having trouble finding places to smoke up legally. Nevada's recreational cannabis law only allows the plant to be consumed in private residences, and the majority of hotels also prohibit guests from blazing indoors.
Residents of the state are welcome to enjoy weed in the comfort of their own homes, however, and Caesars' new drug screening policy makes it easier for locals to experience legal pot without fear of being locked out of employment opportunities. Throughout Las Vegas, other locals are warming up to legal marijuana, including the city's professional soccer team.
Last month, the Las Vegas Lights signed a six-figure sponsorship deal with local dispensary Nuwu Cannabis Marketplace. Unlike most major American sports leagues, the United Soccer League doesn’t test players for pot, leaving the team's athletes free to enjoy legal cannabis at their own discretion — now that’s progress.