Americans Say Smoking Marijuana And Drinking Alcohol Shouldn’t Be A Reason To Be Fired

November 18, 2013  |  

Smoking marijuana and drinking shouldn’t get you fired–or at least most American workers feel this way. A new HuffPost/YouGov poll found that almost two-thirds of Americans think companies shouldn’t fire an employee for off-the-clock marijuana use in states where using marijuana is legal. And  the same percentage that said it would be unacceptable to fire an employee for off-hours drinking.

A majority of Americans — 64 percent to 22 percent — say that if marijuana were to be legalized in their state, it would be unacceptable for a company to fire an employee for smoking it during his or her free time, reports the Huffington Post.

It was the same ratio to the question whether or not it would be unacceptable for a company to fire an employee for after-hours drinking, with 64 percent saying it would be unacceptable, compared to 22 percent who found it okay.

The number changed some when simply asked whether it would be unacceptable for a company to fire an employee for smoking marijuana off the clock — omitting the question of whether or not marijuana use was legal –45 percent said it would be unacceptable, compared to 32 percent who said it would be acceptable.

Also political affiliation played into the results. “Republicans in the poll were most likely to be swayed by whether or not using the drug was legal. Given the status quo, 41 percent of Republicans said that it would be acceptable for an employer to fire someone for using marijuana, compared to 32 percent who said it would not be acceptable,” reports HuffPo.  However if using marijuana were legal, most Republicans — 62 percent to 27 percent — said it would not be okay to fire an employee for marijuana use.

Along the lines of age, respondents under age 30 were the most likely to say marijuana use off the job should not be a reason to be fired, whether marijuana use was legalized or not. In this group, 51 percent felt that it’s unacceptable to fire someone for pot smoking; 30 percent said it’s acceptable.

“But if using marijuana were legal, a majority of respondents in all age categories said that it would be unacceptable to fire someone for smoking it,” reports HuffPo. Yet 45-to-64-year-old age group was the most likely to say such a firing would be unacceptable, at 73 percent. Only 18 percent of that age group disagreed.

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