Bipartisan bill shields federal workers from being fired for marijuana

Bipartisan bill shields federal workers from being fired for marijuana


Marijuana Moment is a wire service assembled by Tom Angell, a marijuana legalization activist and journalist covering marijuana reform nationwide. The views expressed by Angell or Marijuana Moment are neither endorsed by the Globe nor do they reflect the Globe’s views on any subject area.

Federal agencies couldn’t fire employees in legalized states simply because they test positive for marijuana if a bipartisan bill that was introduced in Congress on Tuesday is enacted.

The legislation, filed by Representatives Charlie Crist and Don Young, along with eight other cosponsors, is designed to provide protections for federal workers who consume cannabis in compliance with state law. Under current law, federal employees can be terminated — or not even hired in the first place — over marijuana, regardless of state law.

As Crist’s office noted in a bill summary obtained by Marijuana Moment, this policy has a disproportionate impact on veterans, many of whom have turned to medical cannabis to treat pain and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Military veterans represent about one-third of the federal workforce.

“For our veterans’, cannabis has been shown to address chronic pain and PTSD, often replacing addictive and harmful opioids. At the same time, the federal government is the largest employer of our veterans’ community. This conflict, between medical care and maintaining employment, needs to be resolved,” Crist said in a press release. “For federal employees complying with state cannabis law, they shouldn’t have to choose between a proven treatment and their job.” Read more






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