The federal government will not be able to fire its employees for marijuana use if a new bipartisan bill is enacted.
The bill was introduced on July 26 by Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL) and Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-GA), under the title “Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act,” which would bar the government from denying employment or making federal employees “subject to any other adverse personnel action” if they had a positive drug test and lived in a state where marijuana is legal.
An exception is laid out in the bill if there is “probable cause to believe that the individual is under the influence of marijuana” in the workplace, reported the Marijuana Moment after obtaining a copy of the bill.
The legislation builds on a narrower amendment introduced by Charlie Crist, which would have protected veterans who work for the Veterans Affairs Department from being fired for state-legal marijuana use.
This new standalone bill covers 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 state law.
“Virtually everyone agrees employees shouldn’t be fired for having a couple of beers on their day off. Workers shouldn’t be fired for consuming marijuana when they’re off the clock either” tweeted the Marijuana Policy Project.
One exception the bill does not cover is people applying for, or holding, positions that involve “top secret clearance or access to a highly sensitive program.”