New Yorkers would no longer need to worry about losing employment for using cannabis, pending the approval of new rules.
The New York City Council passed a bill on Tuesday banning most employers from screening employees for marijuana use, reports Bloomberg Law.
The council bill would ban most public and private employers from requiring potential employees to undergo a drug test for the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) the psychoactive compound found in cannabis.
“We need to be creating more access points for employment, not [fewer],” Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said in a release. “It makes absolutely no sense that we’re keeping people from finding jobs or advancing their careers because of marijuana use.”
However, not all jobs will be protected by the bill. All workers on construction sites will still be screened for using marijuana, as well as police, law enforcement, and criminal investigation personnel.
Jobs with a significant impact on health and safety, such as positions who care for or supervise children, medical patients, or people with disabilities, are also excluded. Drug testing provided under collective bargaining agreements also wouldn’t be covered.
Companies such as AutoNation and Caesar’s Palace have already removed marijuana from their list of banned substances.
Criminal-justice reform advocates regard the City Council’s decision as a step in the right direction.
The practice of drug testing “does little to determine how a particular person would perform in their job,” Dionna King, a policy manager with the Drug Policy Alliance, said to Patch. “It’s just a way to eliminate people based on actions done in private that don’t really affect how they will show up as day-to-day employees.”
Oscar Pascual is the editor of Smell the Truth, syndicated on GreenState and SFGATE. Smell The Truth is one of the internet’s most popular destinations for cannabis-related news and culture. This blog is not written or edited by Hearst. The authors are solely responsible for the content.