Federal Employment Protections Demanded in Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON, DC — For the first time, the House Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Appropriations has included language seeking to protect the employment of federal employees who consume cannabis in legal jurisdictions.

“Denying responsible adults access to federal employment opportunities for engaging in state legal conduct is counterproductive and it disproportionately impacts the veteran community. The final appropriations package must maintain these provisions to give a sense of comfort and certainty to those residing in the continually growing number of states that have given ended their failed war against cannabis consumers,” said NORML Political Director, Justin Strekal.

The language states:

The Committee encourages OPM to review its policies and guidelines regarding hiring and firing of individuals who use marijuana in states where that individual’s private use of marijuana is not prohibited under the law of the state.  These policies should reflect updated changes to the law on marijuana usage and clearly state the impact of marijuana usage on federal employment.

The language was included by Rep. Charlie Crist of Florida along with protections for financial institutions to engage in activities with state-legal cannabis businesses.

In a release, Rep. Crist stated: “Voters across the country are saying yes to legalization. It’s time for the federal government to catch up with the will of the people. For folks from all walks of life, veterans, seniors, people facing chronic pain or disabilities, cannabis is an incredible source of relief – and that legal commerce is providing an economic boost to our communities. You shouldn’t lose your job if you need cannabis to live a healthy, normal life, and companies shouldn’t be at risk of operating a cash-only business in this day and age.”

You can read NORML’s full fact sheet on Marijuana Legalization and its Impact on the Workplace here.

Take action now and send a message to your member of Congress in support of the bipartisan Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act which would codify employment protections for federal workers into law. 

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