If you live in Virginia, you may have picked up on the sweet smell of… excitement??… wafting through the air on July 1, 2021, when recreational marijuana became legal in the Commonwealth. The new laws also include certain employment protections for employees who use medically-prescribed marijuana.
However, if you are a federal employee, even if you live and work in Virginia, remember that regardless of state law, marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. Many federal employees in Virginia are required to be eligible for security clearances as a condition of employment. Use, possession, and/or transportation of marijuana, and even association with other individuals who use marijuana, can still be potentially disqualifying conditions to obtain or maintain security clearance eligibility.
Additionally, because marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, federal employees whose positions are subject to drug testing can still face disciplinary action if they have a drug test with a positive result for marijuana. Marijuana is also still not permitted in any form on federal property.
So, before you take a big whiff of whatever that smell is floating through the air, remember that if you work for the federal government, it’s probably best to practice restraint and keep your distance.
Every situation is unique, and nothing in this generally-worded blog post is meant to constitute legal advice or to establish any sort of attorney-client relationship. If you are a federal government employee with employment and/or security clearance concerns related to alleged unlawful drug use, and if you would like to discuss your situation with an attorney, please call the law firm of Bonney, Allenberg, O’Reilly, & Eddy, P.C. to set up an initial consultation with one of our attorneys.