Federal workers would be putting their jobs at risk by using cannabis to treat any number of symptoms, even when acting in compliance with state law. Under current law, testing positive for cannabis can cause federal workers to have their jobs terminated and can also bar potential hires. Marijuana Movement reports that a new bipartisan bill was introduced in Congress last Tuesday that “is designed to provide protections for federal workers who consume cannabis in compliance with state law.”
This new bill titled the “Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act,” expands on a previous version of the legislation introduced to Congress by Reps. Charlie Crist (D-FL). Marijuana Movement reports that the updated bill “extends the employment protections to people who use cannabis in accordance with policies of Indian tribes and lands under free association with the U.S.” The updates also include language that was “amended to specify that employees who test positive for THC metabolites could not be ‘subject to any adverse personnel action.’”
Crist, who cites “fairness” and “compassion” as being at the heart of his efforts with the bill, is working to correct previous policy that has disproportionately affected veterans. Many veterans are turning to medical cannabis to treat PTSD and other pain. As Marijuana Movement points out, “Military veterans represent about one-third of the federal workforce.”
If this bill is enacted, federal agencies will not be able to fire employees or reject job candidates in states in legalized states for testing positive for cannabis. The change could encourage many who have formerly stayed away from cannabis in order to protect their jobs to learn more about the medical benefits cannabis can provide.