A majority of Americans polled believe that it would be unacceptable for an employer to fire an employee for off-hours marijuana use in states where marijuana use is legal. The same percentage, nearly two-thirds, of people agreed that it would also be wrong to fire employees for off-the-job drinking.
However, when asked if it would be unacceptable for a company to fire an employee for off-hours marijuana use, excluding the clause about legality, 45 percent of those polled said it would be unacceptable compared with 32 percent who said it would be acceptable.
Republicans in the poll were most likely to be influenced by the issue of legality. Sixty-two percent, compared to twenty-seven percent of Republicans stated that it would be unacceptable to fire an employee for off-hours marijuana use if Marijuana was legal. If marijuana was not legal, only 32 percent of Republicans said it would be unacceptable to fire an employee for marijuana use, compared to 41 percent who said it would be acceptable.
Age played a role in the numbers as well. Fifty-one percent of respondents under age thirty said that off-the-job marijuana use should not be a firing offense, regardless of whether or not marijuana use was legalized, compared with 30 percent saying it was a legitimate offense. At 73 percent, the 45-64 year-old age group was the most likely to say such a firing is unacceptable. Only 18 percent of this age group agreed that firing an employee for off-hours marijuana use was acceptable.