Bill Introduced to Protect Federal Workers who Consume Cannabis

On March 12, Rep. Charlie Crist, Rep. Don Young and eight other cosponsors filed a bill that would provide protections for federal workers who consume cannabis in states where it is legal. The bill would “amend title 5, United States Code, to remove limitations on federal employment for an individual legally using marijuana under the law of the state in which the individual resides, and for other purposes.”

House Resolution 1687, or the Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act, would protect federal workers who test positive for cannabis while off the clock, with the exception of federal positions that require drug testing for top-secret clearance.

Marijuana Moment reports that seven months ago, Crist introduced an earlier version of the bill, but the new version adds the protection for people who can legally consume cannabis on tribal land, among other minor amendments. Crist cited the importance of medical cannabis for people live veterans who use it to combat chronic pain or post-traumatic stress syndrome. Veterans compose about a third of the federal workforce.

Young shared Crist’s enthusiasm, and more importantly, recognized the quality workers that are being ignored simply because they consume cannabis at home. “I’m pleased to join Representative Crist in introducing this legislation today. I truly believe that this Congress we will see real reform of our nation’s cannabis laws—reform based on a states’ right approach,” Young said. “This bill would protect federal workers, including veterans, from discrimination should they be participating in activities compliant with state-level cannabis laws on their personal time. The last thing we need is to drive talented workers away from these employment opportunities. As a Co-Chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus I remain committed to promoting this bill as well as other legislation to protect individuals and reform our federal cannabis laws.”

Stay tuned to see how far the bill goes legislatively. Most recently, it was referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

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