Stoners seeking gainful employment in the District of Columbia may soon not have worry about passing a pre-employment drug test before signing on to work for a new company. Earlier this week, the progressively minded DC Council approved a measure that would make it illegal for employers to test potential team members for marijuana before offering them a job.
With the recent passing of Initiative 71, which legalized the cultivation, possession and use of marijuana in the nation’s capital, District lawmakers decided to move ahead on a bill introduced by Council Member Vincent Orange in March of this year called the “Prohibition of Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing Emergency Act of 2014.”
In its most basic form, the bill prohibits employers from testing job applicants for pot before extending them an offer for employment. However, once the new hire becomes an official employee of the company, they would be expected to follow workplace policies, including submitting to and passing a drug test.
Although the measure does not offer perfect protection against the wrath of drug free workplace regulations, it does provide marijuana users with an opportunity to secure employment without concerning themselves with the stress of passing the initial whiz quiz that has become commonplace with many human resource departments.
“The citizens of the District voted for Initiative 71, to legalize marijuana, and this bill will protect citizens who legally smoke marijuana but are then subsequently penalized for it through loss of employment opportunities,” Orange said in a press release. “The bill aims to prevent the loss of a job opportunity for job seekers who have used marijuana prior to receiving a job offer but it does not remove an employer’s right to prohibit the use of drugs at work or at any time during employment.”