3101 - Tobacco and Marijuana Use


Drug-Free Workplace

Audience List

  • Administrative Chiefs
  • Human Resources Chiefs
  • Human Resources Liaisons
  • Labor Relations Officers
  • Personnel Officers


This policy:

  • Reminds departments of the provisions of Labor Code section 6404.5 and Government Code sections 7596-7598 prohibiting the use of tobacco products in the workplace.
  • Explicitly states the State of California’s position on drugs in the workplace, including marijuana.


Employers may adopt and enforce reasonable policies related to a tobacco and drug-free workplace. Employers have no obligation to reasonably accommodate an employee’s disability by allowing marijuana use.


Electronic Cigarettes

Government Code 7597 (a) states: “No public employee or member of the public shall smoke any tobacco product inside a public building, or in an outdoor area within 20 feet of a main exit, entrance, or operable window of a public building or in a passenger vehicle, as defined in section 465 of the Vehicle Code, owned by the state.”

With electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and hookahs gaining popularity, CalHR encourages departments to update their smoking policies to cover the use of all tobacco products including chewing tobacco, cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, water pipes, hookahs, and any other non-combustible tobacco product or smoking apparatus.

For the purposes of this policy, “tobacco” is defined to include: cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and any other smoking product; dip, chew, chewing tobacco, and any other smokeless tobacco product; and nicotine delivery devices, such as e-cigarettes.

Each department should have a clearly marked designated area outside the building where smoking is permitted.


Despite the legalization of marijuana use and possession, legal restrictions prohibit smoking or ingesting marijuana in public places where smoking tobacco is prohibited per Health and Safety Code section 11362.3 (a).

The law expressly states it should not be construed or interpreted to:

  • Restrict the rights and obligations of public and private employers to maintain a drug- and alcohol-free workplace;
  • Require an employer to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale, or growth of marijuana in the workplace;
  • Affect the ability of employers to have policies prohibiting the use of marijuana by employees and prospective employees; or
  • Prevent employers from complying with state or federal law.

The State of California maintains a drug- and alcohol-free workplace.


Not Applicable.



Not Applicable.

Authorized By

Melissa Russell
Chief, Personnel Management Division

Contact Person

Personnel Management Division
Personnel Program Consultant , Personnel Management Division
Phone: 916-909-3709
Fax: 916-327-1886
Email: pmd@calhr.ca.gov

Superseded Policies

Not Applicable.


View History

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Table of Contents

1000 - Equal Employment Opportunity

1100 - Selection

1200 - Appointments

1300 - Exempt Employees

1400 - Benefits and Insurance

1500 - Work Schedules

1600 - Third Party Pre-Tax Parking

1700 - Compensation

1800 - Savings Plus

1900 - Bona Fide Associations

2000 - Collective Bargaining

2100 - Leave

2200 - Travel/Relocation

2300 - State Owned Housing

2400 - Employee Recognition

2600 - Layoffs

2700 - Retirement

2800 - Training

2900 - Workforce Planning

3000 - Examination and Hiring

3100 - Drug-Free Workplace

3200 - Medical Screening

3300 - Apprenticeships

3400 - Temporary Assignment

3500 - Classification Plan