Since the majority of Congress seems hell-bent on rotting on Capitol Hill before ever legalizing marijuana at the federal level, the pro-pot lawmakers that make up this political sideshow and dumb circus are being forced to try and make changes to national drug policy a baby step at a time. The most recent attempt comes in the form of legislation designed to prevent federal agencies from testing employees for marijuana.
The “Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under States Laws Act,” which was introduced by Representatives Charlie Crist of Florida and Drew Ferguson of Georgia, is intended to prevent military veterans who use marijuana for medicinal purposes from being rejected from federal employment based solely on a positive result for THC. A clean test for marijuana and other drugs is a “condition of employment” with the federal government since the implementation of the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Program.
But this decades old rule has prevented some of those who serve our country from being considered for gainful employment. The federal government is one of the leading job providers for the veteran community. And with more of these men and women turning to medical marijuana to combat conditions ranging from PTSD to chronic pain, more will likely find themselves rejected based on their medicine of choice.
“Medical marijuana is an issue of compassion, and in the veterans’ community, access is even more important as more and more veterans are turning to cannabis to address chronic pain and PTSD. At the same time, the federal government is the largest employer of veterans; however, private cannabis use even in states that have legalized medical marijuana is prohibited in these positions,” Representative Crist told those in attendance of a press conference. “Our bipartisan bill would protect federal employment for those in compliance with their state’s cannabis laws. Because our veterans shouldn’t have to choose between treatment options or job opportunities.”
If the bill goes the distance, which is highly unlikely, veterans “whose residence is in a State where that individual’s private use of marijuana is not prohibited, who is tested under a drug testing program of any Executive agency without probable cause to believe that the individual is under the influence of marijuana… and, in the case of an individual whose use of marijuana was for medical purposes, who is able to provide documentation attesting to the lawful nature of such use under the law of the State, may not, based solely on such positive test, be denied employment at an Executive agency.”
The bill has been sent to the U.S House Committee on Oversight and Government for consideration.