Weed is now legal in New Jersey, so what does this mean for Pennsylvania residents who may want to partake?

We’ve got you covered on what to do if you’re pulled over, if you want to buy weed in New Jersey and bring it back over state lines, and if you want to know about smoking weed at the Shore.

But what if you smoke legal cannabis while in New Jersey — can you get in trouble back at work in Pennsylvania? Possibly.

Key takeaways

  • Drug testing at work is mostly handled by local and state law.
  • In Pennsylvania, your employer can test you for marijuana.
  • In Philadelphia, your employer can't test you for marijuana when you're applying for a job, but they can test you once they've hired you. And there are some exceptions.
  • You can not be fired for using medical marijuana, though there are some exceptions.

Can my employer test me for marijuana in Pennsylvania?

Yes. In Pennsylvania, employers are allowed to drug test before and during your employment with them.

There aren’t many federal laws regarding employment drug tests, according to digital legal resource NOLO; employment drug testing laws are mostly at the state and local level. In Pennsylvania, there aren’t many laws requiring or prohibiting employment drug tests either. This means that it’s up to employers to make their own policies. (Companies usually include their drug testing policies in your employee handbook or employment contract.)

And, if you test positive — even if you’ve used marijuana legally in New Jersey — you can be fired (unless you have a medical marijuana card).

Can my employer test me for marijuana in Philadelphia?

Yes. Employers that operate in Philadelphia can still drug test you for your job. However, there are laws in Philly that prohibit certain employers from drug testing when someone is applying for a job. Here’s how they work:

Philadelphia’s ban on preemployment drug testing for marijuana

Many employers in Philadelphia are not allowed to test for marijuana in preemployment drug tests. This means that when you’re applying for a job, an employer can’t drug test you for marijuana.

Once you get the job, though, your employer can drug test you for marijuana depending on company policy.

According to the City Council ordinance, there are exemptions to the Philly law. You can be drug tested if you’re applying for a job:

  • in law enforcement.

  • that requires a commercial driving license.

  • that requires supervising children, medical patients, or people with a disability or specific vulnerability.

  • that could impact the health and safety of others.

  • that requires drug tests under federal or state law

  • that already has a collective-bargaining agreement about preemployment drug testing.

Here’s a full breakdown on Philly’s ban on preemployment drug testing for marijuana.

Can I be fired in Pennsylvania for using medical marijuana?

No, as long as you’re not getting high at work. It is against the law to fire someone who has a medical marijuana prescription and consumes marijuana during off-work hours. This includes preemployment drug testing and random drug testing. However, if your employer can prove that you are intoxicated or consuming marijuana at work, you can legally be fired.

Here’s a full breakdown of your rights to employment when using medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.

Can I be fired for marijuana use if I live and work in New Jersey?

Technically, no. According to New Jersey’s law, there cannot be any “adverse employment consequence” — like being fired or denied a job — because an employee tested positive for marijuana. You also can’t be fired, denied a job, or rejected for a professional license in New Jersey if you have a marijuana-related record.

Here’s a full breakdown of your rights to employment when using medical marijuana in New Jersey.

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