Mississippi Drug Testing Laws and Regulations

State

Mississippi

Statute of Order

Miss. Stat. §71-7-1 et seq.

Covered Employers

Public and private employers.

Applicant Testing

Applicant testing is not subject to restriction.

Employee Testing

Employers are not required to subject their employees to drug testing but it may be required if an employee is under suspicion of drug use; as part of a routine schedule fit-for-duty medical exam; follow up drug test after a rehabilitation program and if an employee tested positive in the past 12 months. Discharge of an employee is authorized if employee tests positive or refuses test. However, initial positive drug result has to be verified by a confirmation drug test.

Conditions & Methods

Advance written notice of test, documentation showing chain of custody, and opportunity for employee to explain positive findings. Confidentiality of test results.

Important Bulletpoints

  • An employee or job applicant who is required to undergo drug or alcohol testing must be made aware of the employer’s drug testing policy and may be requested to sign a statement that the policy has been read and understood by the employee. Refusal to sign the statement does not prohibit the employer from taking appropriate action nor does it invalidate the results of any tests conducted.
  • Mississippi employers are not to be held liable for any cause of action arising from the drug or alcohol testing program that is compliant with the provisions of the law or an employer’s failure to establish such a testing program.
  • An initial positive drug result shall be followed by a confirmation test.
  • Unless countered by the employer, urine and blood specimen are to be retained by the drug testing laboratory for 2 years.
  • Positive drug test results blood and urine samples are to be kept by pertaining laboratories in case re-tests are needed.
  • Employees of the Department of Corrections are required to undergo mandatory drug testing. Random testing is permitted in this case.
  • The Drug Free Workplace Workers’ Compensation Premium Reduction Act provides compliant employers with a certification for a 5% discount on workers’ compensation premium for a drug free workplace policy that is in accordance with the Act. The policy must include an employee assistance program or an accessible resource of employee assistance providers and an annual 1-hour employee education with additional 2-hour training for supervisors.
  • An employer must inform an employee who tests positive for a drug test, within five days of receiving a confirmed positive drug test result. The employee has 10 working days to clarify the positive drug test result.
  • Employees and job applicants have the right to file legal complaints on how the test was conducted, discrimination on who was tested, how the specimen was collected, how the results were used and so on.

Medical Marijuana Law

The Medical Marijuana Law in Mississippi is CBD-specific. It was called the Harper Grace Law (HB 1231) and was signed by Gov. Phil Bryant on April 17, 2014. It provided an affirmative defense to patients suffering from a debilitating epileptic condition and their parents, guardians or caregivers for the use and possession of marijuana extracts containing no more than 0.5% THC and 15% or higher cannabidiol (High CBD - low THC). This law also removed such extracts from Schedule I of the state's Controlled Substance Act.

Qualifying Medical Condition

• Intractable epilepsy

Limitations

• An affirmative defense does not protect someone from being arrested, held in jail before trial, and made to stand trial for the use and possession of medical marijuana, including CBD extracts.

• This bill only applies to "CBD oil," meaning a marijuana oil, extract, or resin that contains more than 15% of cannabidiol (CBD) and no more than 0.5% THC.

• Patients and their caregivers are not allowed to cultivate their own marijuana for the purpose of extracting CBD.

• The law only applies to single qualified medical condition namely intractable epilepsy.

Recreational Marijuana Law

Initiative 48 and Initiative 52 both didn't making it to the November 2016 ballot for failing to garner enough valid signatures to qualify. This lack of signatures indicated that Mississippi voters were not quite ready for marijuana legalization.

The Mississippi Cannabis Freedom Act (Initiative 52) and the Mississippi Marijuana Legalization Amendment (Initiative 60) may both be on the ballot for Mississippi voters on November 6, 2018as indirect initiated constitutional amendments.

Initiative 52 "would amend the Mississippi Constitution to include the Mississippi Cannabis Freedom Act ("the Act"). The Act legalizes cannabis for persons eighteen years of age and older, legalizes cannabis for medical purposes, authorizes the collection of taxes on cannabis, and includes various other definitions and mechanisms for implementation of the Act. For purposes of this measure, "cannabis" means hemp, weed, herd, marijuana, grass, wax, concentrate extract, and hashish".

Initiative 60 proposes "to legalize the use, taxation, cultivation and sale of industrial hemp and cannabis for persons 21 or older. Cannabis crimes would be punishable in a manner similar to alcohol related crimes. The initiative requires the Legislature to adopt an expungement process for non-violent cannabis crimes and requires the Governor to pardon non-violent cannabis offenders. The initiative delegates enforcement authority to the Chancery Courts.

Effects on Workplace Drug Testing

While individuals with intractable epilepsy may be reluctant to seek employment because of the stigma attached to their condition and the discrimination they are afraid to face when looking for employment, many people with this condition are able to work and successfully perform their duties.5 Mississippi employers who are well informed about such an employee's condition and who are aware of the treatment possibilities with CBD - a non-psychoactive component of marijuana, may very well choose to accommodate the issue in their workplace drug testing programs. Sources:

https://www.mpp.org/states/mississippi/mississippis-cbd-extract-only-medical-marijuana-law/

https://ballotpedia.org/Mississippi_Cannabis_Freedom_Act,_Initiative_52_(2018)

https://ballotpedia.org/Mississippi_Marijuana_Legalization_Amendment,_Initiative_60_(2018)

http://www.cannalawblog.com/state-of-cannabis-mississippi/

http://www.epilepsy.com/get-help/managing-your-epilepsy/living-epilepsy/employment-help-what-you-need-know

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Material on these pages (state drug testing laws and drug testing regulations) is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, medical or technical advice. This drug testing related information is not intended as substitute for obtaining legal advice from attorney, or a relevant medical technical or financial professional. TestCountry is not a law firm or a legal agency, therefore cannot guarantee the accuracy of this content. Drug testing laws are collected from legal and/or state sources, and it may or may not be valid by the time you are viewing it. Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Confirm BioSciences Inc. DBA TestCountry.

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