Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a new bill that prohibits employers from discriminating against prospective employees on the basis of cannabis use.
Assembly Bill 132 has officially become law as of June 5 when Gov. Steve Sisolak signed the bill’s final paperwork. “As our legal cannabis industry continues to flourish, it’s important to ensure that the door of economic opportunity remains open for all Nevadans,” he said. “That’s why I was proud to sign AB-132 into law, which contains common-sense exceptions for public safety and transportation professionals.”
The law prevents employers from removing a candidate from consideration for a job if they test positive for cannabis. This rule will affect most jobs, with the exclusion of firefighters, emergency medical technicians and those who operate motor vehicles, among others. Jobs that utilize federal funding, such as universities, are also exempt from the law. The law will go into effect in May 2020.
According to Assemblymember Dina Neal, it’s of the utmost importance that certain jobs, as listed above, remain exempt from the law where the “focus is safety and [jobs that require heavy operations of equipment.” Neal is the primary sponsor for AB-132, and she noted that it was important to try and protect as many cannabis consumers as possible. “I didn’t want people to be discriminated against about the lawful use of marijuana,” she said. “That was my purpose.”
Additionally, a comment from New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams solidifies the need for employment protection across the board. “Testing isn’t a deterrent to using marijuana, it’s an impediment to opportunity that dates back to the Reagan era—a ‘War on Drugs’ measure that’s now a war on workers,” he said in a press release. “We need to be creating more access points for employment, not less—and if prospective employers aren’t testing for past alcohol usage, marijuana should be no different.”
This is one of many positive movements forward for Nevada’s cannabis industry. Recently legislators expanded the state’s medical cannabis program and have been putting the money from legal cannabis towards programs that assist the local homeless population.