In the 115th Congress, there are more cannabis reform bills than ever before — dozens, as a matter of fact! This week, we want to highlight another brand new bill introduced in the House of Representatives.
Bill: H.R. 6589: Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act
Introduced by: Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL) and Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-GA)
What It Does: This bill would protect federal workers “whose residence is in a State where that individual’s private use of marijuana is not prohibited” from being denied employment or being “subject to any other adverse personnel action” as a result of a positive cannabis test. There is, however, an exception is laid out if there is “probable cause to believe that the individual is under the influence of marijuana” at the workplace. The bill’s language applies only to civilian federal employees across departments and agencies, from being punished for their off-the-job cannabis consumption as long as it is in accordance with a state law — whether that be medical or adult-use. The bill does not cover those applying for or holding positions involving “top secret clearance or access to a highly sensitive program.”
What To Expect: Now that the bill has been introduced, NCIA will continue to gather cosponsors for the legislation, as well as advocate for a hearing. With August recess underway and midterm elections in November (register here), timing will be of the essence.
NCIA’s government relations team was happy to work with Congressman Crist’s office on the Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act’s language and roll-out. It is undoubtedly time for federal law to respect states’ decisions to legalize cannabis — and protect consumers and employees alike.