California Prop 64 & Lifeguard Employment

As of January 2018 California will increase its implementation of Prop 64 which legalizes recreational marijuana for individuals 21 and over with restrictions however Golden State Lifeguards in addition to many other organizations opposed Prop 64 for the obvious reasons.

Image result for prop 64

What does this mean for Golden State Lifeguards? It means that the number of lifeguard candidates eligible to proceed with employment will be greatly diminished due to the use of marijuana. It is laughable to think that only people 21 and over will enjoy Prop 64 but we all know that marijuana is shared and it is expected that younger adults and even teens will start getting easier access to marijuana.

“Employers who uphold strict drug-free policies even as Prop. 64 is rolled out risk limiting their pool of potential workers. Other companies that relax their rules might face increased liability or reputations as being “stoner friendly.” – The Mercury News

For 12 years we have always expected our candidates to be drug free however as we become more strict with pre-employment drug testing, we have had several candidates decline which is a clear indication they know they will fail. We even saw a post on Reddit in which a writer stated that they had considered working for the company but felt the pre-employment drug testing was over the top however what we read was an admission of guilt and acknowledgement they would fail the exam due to their use of marijuana.  Will we see more candidates declining to partake of drug testing? Probably. Will we see our drug testing policies shift to a more aggressive posture? That is a resounding yes!

“Voters approved Proposition 64 by a healthy margin on Nov. 8. That means Californians are free to consume cannabis on private property, carry up to an ounce and grow up to six plants at home.”

“But Prop. 64 also states that employers remain free to test workers for marijuana use before hiring them, or at any point during their careers. And if workers test positive, the law says companies can choose to let them go – even if there’s no indication they were actually high on the job.” – The Mercury News

For the past 5 years or more, we have seen the lifeguard candidate pool dwindle due to many factors and now add this new factor which will have a deep impact on hiring lifeguards in the Southern California region. Mandatory pre-employment drug testing is something we will not compromise on and neither should any other organization that employs lifeguards, emt’s or paramedics.

It will be very interesting to see how this pans out for those who think that smoking marijuana is untouchable however remember this, Federal law supersedes state law.




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