Philadelphia Ponders Eliminating Drug Testing for Pot

While the government of Pennsylvania’s largest city cannot legalize marijuana, it can make life easier for pot consumers by banning drug testing for certain jobs or by prohibiting employers from testing potential employees at least until a conditional job offer is made.

Sounds reasonable.

Such leniency would not necessarily indicate an approval of smoking weed, nor an attempt to make it more accessible, reports the Good Men Project. It would simply ensure that more Philadelphians can get jobs by reducing the barriers to employment in a valiant attempt to lower the city’s 26 percent poverty rate.

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Opioids Hurting the Workforce, Marijuana Not So Much

All across the United States, presidents and CEO’s of companies are saying the abuse of prescription painkillers and other doctor-approved medications is having a negative impact on their bottom line, according to a new survey by the National Safety Council.

It seems that the portion of the great American workforce that has succumbed to the grips of addictive prescription medications is now missing around 50 percent more work than their sober counterparts—a situation that is causing these people to take off work as many as six weeks per year.

Although absenteeism is one of the primary complaints among companies dealing with this problem, the report also found that companies are dealing with drug-related injuries, worker-to-worker pill deals and even overdose situations more often.

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Radical Rant: My Testimony on Protecting Cannabis Users’ Employment Rights

Today, the Oregon Senate’s Committee on Judiciary is hearing testimony on Senate Bill 301, which would protect users of any legal substance in the state from discrimination in the workplace. Following is written testimony I submitted to the committee chair, Senator Floyd Prozanski.

Thank you for accepting my testimony on SB 301. To me, this is the most important bill that has come through the Oregon Legislature since I moved here in 2003.

I am originally a resident of Idaho. I am also a lifelong cannabis consumer. I deserve the same freedom from employment discrimination as any adult who drinks beer or smokes cigarettes, period.

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New Coalition Wants to Protect Workers From Being Fired Over Marijuana

Over half the nation has now legalized the leaf for medicinal and/or recreational purposes, putting millions of working class citizens in a position to consume the herb without any legal repercussions. However, many of these people are still at risk of catching some unwanted heat from inside the walls of the great American workforce because some companies still consider a positive test for marijuana to be grounds for termination.

It is for that reason there is now a push in legal marijuana states to pass protections for employees that feel threatened by no-tolerance drug policies. The national marijuana legalization advocacy group NORML is said to be spearheading these efforts in a number of jurisdictions, which it hopes will pave the way to new laws that prevent workers from being sent to the unemployment line for simply using a substance that has been deemed legal in the eyes of the state.

“Even though marijuana is legal and readily available in several states, consumers are being unfairly forced to choose between their job and consuming off the clock as a result of out-of-date employment practices,” Kevin Mahmalji, national outreach coordinator for NORML, told HIGH TIMES in an emailed statement. “That is why many NORML chapters active in legal states are now shifting their attention to protecting honest, hardworking marijuana consumers from these sort of antiquated, discriminatory workplace drug-testing practices, in particular the use of random suspicion-less urine testing.”

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More Businesses Dropping Pot from Pre-Employment Drug Tests

Thankfully, testing for pot in Colorado work sites has declined over the past two years. Some companies, seven percent, have totally dropped marijuana from their pre-employment tests and three percent have removed it from all drug tests.

It’s about time, considering that recreational weed in Colorado was approved by voters in 2012 and medical marijuana in 2000.

A survey done by the Mountain States Employers Council (MSEC) in December marked a shift from 2014, when when one-in-five employers reported stringent drug-testing policies, reported the Denver Post, which pointed out that these results don’t necessarily mean businesses are happy about their employees smoking weed.

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Use Medical Marijuana, Get Fired—Well, Not For Long (Maybe)

Marijuana use can indeed be a “de-motivator”—for job creators who decide they don’t like weed or weed users.

Through the two decades that medical marijuana has been available somewhere in America, employers have had the right to fire an employee or choose not to hire a job candidate solely because that person is a medical marijuana patient. 

Employers have had the ability to summarily can someone for using illegal drugs for decades under federal and state drug-free workplace laws. But high courts in several states, including California and Washington, have ruled that this punishment can also be applied to users of state-legal drugs like medical and recreational cannabis.

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