The D.C. Council passed emergency legislation that bans employment discrimination against city employees who use medical marijuana.
The bill that passed on Tuesday followed a number of incidents, where some individuals working in the city government faced threats or punishments for using medical cannabis out of office hours.
After the Council’s vote, the emergency bill that applies to both prospective and current employees only requires D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s signature to become law.
At-large Councilmember David Grosso, who introduced the bill, pulled back the original legislation protecting all city workers, thinking it would not garner enough number of votes. The current bill does not include “safety-sensitive” workers, which consist of people with jobs affecting safety.
“I did not want to make that change, but it was clear the legislation did not have the necessary support otherwise,” Grosso said.
Per @dcist: “D.C. Council Passes Emergency Bill To Protect Some—But Not All—City Workers Who Use Medical Marijuana.” @SaulEwing’s been covering this issue nationally & we’ll have an analysis on DC in coming days. #drugtesting #laborandemployment https://t.co/4F5y0WOy5h
— Jonathan A. Havens (@RegulatoryAtty) June 18, 2019
There are currently 33 U.S. states, where medical marijuana is legal. Illinois recently voted a bill legalizing recreational marijuana by January next year. It permits individuals aged from 21 to buy and possess up to 30 grams of cannabis. Illinois became the first state to pass a bill legalizing marijuana sales through the legislature.
The District of Columbia and 11 states allow recreational marijuana use for adults over 21. Marijuana use was legalized in D.C. in 2015, but the Congress didn’t allow the regularization of marijuana sales.
On the other hand, earlier this year, it was revealed that several thousand people in the Washington, D.C. area received treatment from state-run anti-drug programs due to marijuana addiction every year over the past four years.
A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center indicated that 62 percent of the U.S. population support legalizing marijuana. Among millennials, 74 percent expressed support.