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The California legislature has passed a Cal NORML-sponsored bill, AB 2188 (Quirk), that would ban workplace discrimination due to drug tests for inactive metabolites of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. The most commonly used drug test by employers, urine tests, can pick up a worker’s cannabis use days or weeks before they show up for work and have no correlation with on-the-job impairment. By contrast, oral swab tests, which are permitted for use in the bill, detect actual THC and are a better indicator of recent use.
The bill’s passage is the result of a multi-year effort by sponsor California NORML, the state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. A bill carried by Asm. Mark Leno in 2008 to protect the workplace rights of medical marijuana users passed in the legislature but was vetoed by Gov. Schwarzenegger. Asm. Rob Bonta carried two similar bills in 2018 (AB 2069) and 2019 (AB 2355), but they failed to pass through the legislature. Asm. Quirk introduced similar language as a two-year bill in 2021, in order to begin the process of reaching out to stakeholders and supporters.
Meanwhile, twenty-one states have passed laws protecting medical marijuana users against job discrimination, and six of those states (Nevada, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Montana and Rhode Island) plus several cities (New York City, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Atlanta, etc.) now also protect recreational cannabis users’ workplace rights.
This year, Cal NORML is joined by strong support for AB 2188 from unions on behalf of their members. It is supported by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), California Nurses Association, CA Board of Registered Nursing, and UDW/AFSCME Local 3930.
“California has always been a leader in the cannabis industry, and we must lead once again by prohibiting discrimination against people who consume cannabis when they are off-the-job,” said Amber Baur, executive director, United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council. “Using an outdated test to determine workplace impairment does not increase workplace safety—it only causes employees to feel unsafe and harassed at work. We’re proud to support AB 2188 because it’s time for the law to keep up with science.”
“Our members and the people we care for live in communities most likely to be discriminated against for the legal consumption of cannabis. This practice must end,” said Doug Moore, Executive Director, UDW/AFSCME 3930.
“Urine tests are a highly offensive invasion of workers’ personal bodily privacy,” said Cal NORML director Dale Gieringer. “They are too frequently abused to discriminate against unpopular workers and minorities. Workers should have the same right to use cannabis as to use other legal substances off the job.”
Other supporters include the California Employment Lawyers Association, Cannabis Equity Policy Council, Americans for Safe Access, Drug Policy Alliance, United Cannabis Business Association and California Cannabis Industry Association, and Origins Council, among others. The California Chamber of Commerce has removed the bill from its “job killer” list after amendments were taken in the Senate. The cities of Oakland and San Francisco have passed resolutions last year in favor of the measure.
Governor Newsom has until September 30 to sign the bill into law. Supporters can write a Letter to Gov. Newsom in Support of AB 2188.
The post California Legislature Passes Bill to Protect Rights of Workers Who Use Cannabis Off the Job appeared first on CaNorml.org.
“I have repeatedly called on our Republican-led General Assembly to support the legalization of adult-use marijuana, but they’ve yet to meet this call for action from myself and Pennsylvanians. Until they do, I am committed to doing everything in my power to support Pennsylvanians who have been adversely affected by a minor marijuana offense on their record.”
The post Pennsylvania: Governor Launches Effort to Issue Mass Pardons to Those with Low-Level Marijuana Convictions appeared first on NORML.
NORML’s Interns for the Summer ’22 semester share thoughts regarding their time working with the NORML staff.
The post Summer 2022 NORML Interns Answer Questions About the Job appeared first on NORML.
“These arbitrary and unnecessary limits were established without input from either the patient community or from those physicians who specialize in providing oversight to medical cannabis patients. They will likely result in creating unnecessary confusion and they will place an undue burden upon patients and their doctors.”
The post Florida: Health Officials Enact Emergency Rules Imposing Cannabis Dosing Limits for Qualified Patients appeared first on NORML.
State lawmakers have advanced several priority bills to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk and a few more remain pending but are up against a tight timeline. The legislative session in California ends on August 31st. Any bills not transmitted to the Governor will die after that date. (Once advanced to the Governor, he has 30 days to act on the bills.)
The post California: Multiple Reform Bills Advance to Governor’s Desk appeared first on NORML.
Before a single ballot has been cast in the 2022 midterm elections on a single marijuana ballot measure, prohibitionists funded by dark money special interests are doing everything they can in an attempt to crush legalization attempts in several states before voters ever get a say.
The post Raising the Alarm: Legalization Efforts Under Attack appeared first on NORML.
Advocates expressed hope that lawmakers may take up the issue in 2023 now that about a half million Nebraskans have signed petitions over the past few years in favor of it. “I hope the elected officials are paying attention. They have the power to do something.”
The post Nebraska: Advocates Fail to Secure Ballot Access for Medical Marijuana Legalization Measures appeared first on NORML.
Regulators and other concerned parties should seek to provide the public with more comprehensive safety information about the effects of more potent products, and they should continue to ensure that legal products do not get diverted to the youth market. Such actions will ultimately be far more productive than calling for a return to the failures of marijuana prohibition.
The post NORML Op-ed: Concerns Over High Potency THC Products Warrant Greater Education, Not Criminalization appeared first on NORML.
Voters in several states and in dozens of cities and towns will decide on marijuana-related ballot measures in November. Here is an update of where these efforts currently stand in Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Oklahoma, as well as cities in Colorado, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, Rhode Island and Texas.
The post Marijuana-Related Ballot Initiatives and Referenda: 8/19/22 Update appeared first on NORML.
“Regardless of intent, it is clear that the continued criminalization of cannabis perpetuates and exacerbates unequal enforcement under the law and the associated harms that come with it. This is not something that we can tolerate in the 21st century, and these findings should incentivize lawmakers to embrace sensible cannabis policy reforms.”
The post Analysis: Racial Disparities in Marijuana Possession Arrests Becoming More Pronounced in Prohibition States appeared first on NORML.