Business owners concerned about dealing with high workers if marijuana is legalized

Local News

ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — With less than a month before the State Legislature shuts down for the summer, time is running out for the Governor to legalize marijuana this year.

His first attempt has been criticized by some politicians, police officers and now, some business owners.

Those concerns are being brought into the conversation by the Business Council of New York, which has more than 2,000 members statewide. That includes nearly 300 businesses in Onondaga County.

The business hasn’t liked what Albany is planning, so far. Capital insiders, who expect the new version of the bill to come out by Friday, expect it will be an improved bill with a better chance of getting passed.

The new bill might also improve business owners’ freedoms of dealing with employees under the influence.

Frank Kerbein, the Director of the Center of Human Resources at the Business Council of New York, says, “If we smell alcohol on their breath, we can tell them: ‘It’s time for you to go home. It may cost you your job.’ We wouldn’t be able to do that with marijuana. If we smelled it, after this bill, that wouldn’t be sufficient to take action, send them home and dismiss them. We have to demonstrate impairment, no test exists at the moment.” 

Another concern of business owners, specifically with operations across state borders, is that the drug is still in violation of federal law and many other state laws, where they may have other locations.

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For more local news, follow Andrew Donovan on Twitter @AndrewDonovan

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