MACo: Remove Public Sector Employees from Medical Cannabis Use Bill

MACo Policy Associate Drew Jabin yesterday submitted testimony to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee to support SB 504 Discrimination in Employment – Use of Medial Cannabis – Prohibition with amendments. This bill prohibits counties, from taking adverse actions against an employee based on the employee’s receipt of a written certification for use of medical cannabis or the employee’s positive drug test for cannabis components or metabolites.

From the MACo Testimony:

MACo urges that public sector employees, many in positions of deep public trust, be removed from the bill’s

Although the bill does not prohibit an employer from adopting policies and procedures that prohibit an employee from performing work duties while impaired by medical cannabis, current drug testing technology is incapable of definitively discerning between an employee who tests positive for marijuana and is currently impaired versus an employee who tests positive as a result of prior marijuana use. As such, it is virtually impossible for employers to determine through testing whether an employee is impaired by cannabis during work hours.

County employees regularly interact with the public. Law enforcement, code inspection, emergency services, and countless other public functions demand accountability and responsible public interactions. Providing a safe, productive, and drug-free work environment allows county employees to perform the essential functions of their jobs safely and efficiently, which is in the best interest of all employees and the residents they serve.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2021 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.