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Protect Your Jobs, Support This Massachusetts Marijuana Legislation

The pending bill would prevent unfair discrimination against cannabis consumers

Today, despite the legality of adult cannabis use under state law, job applicants and employees can be discriminated against and fired for a positive drug test, without evidence of impairment at work.

Although impairment rarely lasts more than an hour or two after cannabis use, the evidence of use (metabolites of cannabis) remains in your body to trigger a positive cannabis test result for weeks. Despite current laws’ protection of healthcare provider-certified medical cannabis patients from such discrimination, employers can fire or refuse to hire non-patients simply for a failed cannabis test.

A bill is pending in the state legislature to prevent this unfair discrimination against cannabis consumers, whose use outside of work causes no impairment at work. Identified as H.4426, “An Act prohibiting employment discrimination based on the legal use of cannabis” would protect most workers—safety-sensitive jobs and a few employers are excluded from the bill’s protection—from job denial or termination based only on a cannabis-positive test, “unless reasonable suspicion exists that the employee was impaired by marijuana at the employee’s place of employment or during the hours of employment.”

Click here to see the author speak about the pending marijuana bills in Massachusetts

This bill has been considered by the Massachusetts legislature but ignored for years; in February, however, it was passed by one House and Senate Joint Committee and referred for further consideration. The bill now is on the verge of House action, having been referred to the House Committee on Bills in the Third Reading.

Now is the time to make your voice heard. To protect your jobs, contact your state legislators. Everyone has a state representative and a state senator; you can email or call their offices—and tell them you support H.4426 and want them to pass the bill. Also contact members of the House Committee on Bills in the Third Reading, and House leadership; below are links to their contact information.

If you are willing, share a personal story about the risk to workers from state-legal cannabis use under current law. Taking the time to notify legislators—that you care about H.4426—can make the difference between the bill’s passage, and another year of living in fear of being fired for your legal use of cannabis.

Find House leadership here

Search for your legislator here

Find the House Committee on Bills in the Third Reading members here