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Employers: Legalizing marijuana affects workplace safety, hires

Local business stakeholders say legalizing marijuana could further impact a workplace already marred by an inability to find workers who can pass a drug test.

As several issues promoting marijuana legalization in Ohio move forward in an effort to be placed on November’s ballot, a major concern is how employers would deal with workforce safety and drug testing.

“We don’t really support legalizing marijuana as an employer,” said Robert Toews, chief financial officer for Kaivac Inc., adding that having workers able to smoke cannabis, even off the job, could create confusion in the workplace.

Kaivac, a small business manufacturer in Hamilton that exports cleaning machines, spare parts, accessories, and cleaning chemicals to markets abroad, has had issues hiring workers who can pass a drug test, Toews said.

“As an employer, the burden is on us to create a safe workplace,” he said, adding that it’s not clear how drug tests...

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