The Council of the District of Columbia passed legislation on Tuesday that forbids businesses from firing employees if they test positive for marijuana use, The Washington Post reported.
''Due to the rapidly changing status of cannabis and the lack of evidence supporting drug testing laws, jurisdictions across the country are considering or have adopted laws to protect lawful cannabis use,'' a report attached to the bill read, according to Marijuana Moment.
''Currently, the District prohibits pre-employment drug testing for cannabis before a conditional job offer and prohibits adverse actions against District employees who are medical cannabis patients,'' it continued. ''Employees in the private sector do not have such protections despite adult use being legal in the District. This bill will change that.''
Now sent to the desk of Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser, the bill makes exceptions for workers contracted by the Department of Transportation and operators of heavy machinery, construction workers, police, security guards and medical professionals.
Marijuana has been legal for medicinal and recreational use in the nation's capital since 2014. Current employment laws that mandate drug testing, however, allow private companies to fire workers for the use of cannabis, according to The Hill.
Nevada had adopted similar protections for marijuana users in 2020, with New Jersey following a year later. New York state followed last October by banning all pre-employment marijuana testing, the DCist reported.
According to the National Survey of Drug Use and Health, over 15% of Americans 12 and older said they had used marijuana at least once in 2017, with over 26% saying the same in D.C.
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