BUSINESS
11/13/2013 07:39 am ET

Neither Marijuana Nor Alcohol Should Get You Fired, Americans Say

AP

Almost two-thirds of Americans think it would be unacceptable for a company to fire an employee for off-the-clock marijuana use in states where using marijuana is legal, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll -- the same percentage that said it would be unacceptable to fire an employee for off-hours drinking.

According to the new poll, a majority of Americans -- 64 percent to 22 percent -- think 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.

That's an identical ratio to the response for 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 acceptable.

But when simply asked whether it would be unacceptable for a company to fire an employee for smoking marijuana off the clock -- excluding the question of whether or not marijuana use was legal -- a 45-percent plurality of respondents said it would be unacceptable, compared to 32 percent who said it would be acceptable.

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. But if using marijuana were legal, a majority of Republicans -- 62 percent to 27 percent -- said it would be unacceptable to fire an employee for marijuana use.

Respondents under age 30 were the most likely to say marijuana use off the job should not be a firing offense, regardless of whether or not marijuana use was legalized. Fifty-one percent of this group said that it's unacceptable to fire someone for pot smoking, while 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. The 45-to-64-year-old age group was the most likely to say such a firing would be unacceptable, at 73 percent, compared to the 18 percent of that age group who disagreed.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted Oct. 31-Nov. 1 among 1,000 U.S. adults using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov's nationally representative opinion polling.

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