With federal employees working in states where marijuana is legal, the potential to lose their job is still very real.
Congress, in recognition of this struggle for certain US residents, has introduced a bill that would protect these employees from job loss due to marijuana use.
Florida Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist joined with Alaskan Republican Don Young to co-sponsor the Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act, which would ensure that these employees won’t be fired, even though federal law still lists marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic.
Veterans make up around one-third of the federal workforce, and many are prescribed marijuana for pain management or to assist with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Crist noted when the bill was introduced. This bill is primarily meant to protect these employees and allow them to get the treatment that serves them best for conditions they deal with on a daily basis.
This is Crist’s second attempt to see this legislation pass at the federal level, although last year the bill got stalled before Congress. This year, however, numerous advocacy groups back the measure and the tone in legislative branches may have swayed in favour of such a measure, compared to where it was previously.
Meanwhile, Young is working on removing marijuana from the controlled substances list at the federal level. He has recently introduced a measure that would accomplish that feat, further protecting U.S. citizens from federal charges for marijuana use.