Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Congressional Climate Resilience Bill Includes Protecting Its Workforce From Cannabis Testing

The new bill recognizes that many states are lightyears ahead of the federal government when it comes to worker protections and rational policy when it comes to drug testing.

By Nina Zdinjak

A new bill seeking to promote climate resilience jobs and establish a White House Office of Climate Resilience to encourage climate protection work has been filed by a group of more than two dozen congressional Democrats, reports Marijuana Moment.

An important feature of the bill is that it’s designed to protect people in states with legal cannabis programs from being penalized because of federal drug testing protocols. Under the proposed measure, those employed in a state with legalized marijuana could not be denied training opportunities or work in climate resilience “on the basis of a federally mandated drug test that is more stringent than any drug test that is in place in the locality or State, or used by the union of such employee,” according to the text of the bill.

Photo by 400tmax/Getty Images

Those in states where cannabis is still illegal may still fall under the strict federal protocol.

“The innovative Climate Resilience Workforce Act responds to the worsening climate crisis at the scale necessary by investing in a skilled workforce that is capable of not only responding to but preparing for the destructive impacts of climate change,” Rep. Pramila  Jayapal (D-WA), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus said in a press release. “As we create millions of good-paying, union jobs and center the very communities who are disproportionately impacted, we are finally building back better, greener, and stronger.”

RELATED: How Cannabis Legalization Is Changing The American Workplace

Among 30 other Congress members who back the legislation are Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Cori Bush (D-MO), Mondaire Jones (D-NY) Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).

Advocate Response

“This new bill keenly recognizes that many states, including those that are most at risk to the harms of climate change, are lightyears ahead of the federal government when it comes to worker protections and rational policy when it comes to drug testing for trace metabolic elements,” Justin Strekal, former NORML lobbyist who recently founded Useful Strategies told Marijuana Moment. “As long as the Reagan-Era Executive Order to require testing remains in place, this type of congressional action is essential to moving policy in the right direction.”

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.

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