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Cannabis users’ right to work law advances in California

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Thousands upon thousands of California workers who have been unjustly denied their jobs or fired over unscientific marijuana testing could get new protections this Labor Day.

Assembly Bill 2188 It passed from the legislature on August 30 and went to Governor Gavin Newsom’s office to sign or veto. If he signed the law, workers’ rights would take a huge step forward across America.

AB 2188 makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against workers solely for the use of off-duty weed. It would also effectively end pre-employment urine testing, except for federal jobs and those in the construction professions.

Association member Bill Quirk of Northern California, a former NASA climate scientist, sponsored the bill. He argues that workers testing urine for the bowl have no scientific advantage. Consumer and patient groups like California NORML and Americans for Safe Access Discusses the It’s also an unfair giveaway to testing companies. The North American drug testing industry has made a profit Nearly $2 billion in 2020with forecasts of $4.5 billion in revenue by 2028. Leading Quest Diagnostics implemented 11 million views in 2021.

“It’s time to keep up with the law for science.”

-Matt Bell, Treasurer Secretary, UFCW Local 324

“Not a single scientifically controlled study by the US Food and Drug Administration has shown that cannabis metabolite testing is effective in improving safety or productivity in the workplace,” California NORML stated in a letter of support.

A joint you smoked two weeks ago can fire you when you go to work sober on a Monday. Mayo Clinic confirms urine tests Do not pick up weakness while working. In 2021, a California judge ruled that the state could fire a CalTrans worker for failing a urine test. The judge returned the worker.

Testing is a cold war on drugs

Despite legalization in 2016, about one in ten California employers still undergo testing. About one in 20 of these tests come back positive for the pan. Critics say urine testing is part of an ongoing cold war on drugs that primarily harms low-income and low-skilled workers in economically precarious retail and warehouse jobs.

AB 2188 tells California employers, “Do a better job.” Chiefs will have to examine the active THC, not the drug’s chemical residue.

In dissenting statements to the legislature, the California Chamber of Commerce said there was “no way” to detect active THC. They are deceitful. Urinalysis It’s Reagan-era technology. In 2022, employers can test saliva or breath for active THC, or just take a format test on a smartphone or tablet. California’s unemployment rate is at a record low of 4.2% – companies can’t afford to lay off sober and responsible workers.

With Labor Day coming up, there are two big unions, namely UFCW And the SEIUSupport the workers’ rights bill. The employment discrimination ban on the use of utensils outside of work has been around since 2008 in California, when the government was then. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed state Senator Mark Leno’s bill to do so. California was once a pioneer in medical legalization in 1996 but has since declined. 21 states already have medical cannabis worker rights laws, and five states, including Illinois and New York, protect recreational consumers.

“California has long led the nation in policies for the cannabis industry, and with AB 2188, we have the opportunity to lead once again by prohibiting discrimination against workers who legally consume cannabis when outside work,” said Matt Bell, Treasurer of UFCW Local 324. Old cannabis tests only make employees feel unsafe and harassed at work, it does not increase safety in the workplace. UFCW members are proud to support AB 2188 because it’s time to keep up with the law for science.”

Activists note that the urine test is a A component of systemic and racist classics. The highest rate of drug testing occurs in the Midwest and South, often targeting warehouses and other blue-collar workers of color. In California, employers use urinalysis to avoid paying worker compensation for injuries. Workers who smoke the Delta 8 cartridge on Friday, then get infected while working sober on Monday, may have their urine tested to prevent benefits.

If the bill is passed, California officials expect 19 full-time employees to be needed to handle an estimated 500 complaints of cannabis discrimination from workers annually.

Employer groups prefer to reserve the right to fire sober workers for the time being.

“I am proud that my guild is sponsoring this important law.”

—Jenny Fan, MedMen Long Beach employee and member of UFCW Local 324.

The Chamber of Commerce states, “If California policy makers wish to force a shift toward newer testing technologies—that is one thing…California employers should not have to fight appropriate vulnerability-based terminations.”

The UFCW states that it is time for employers to evolve.

“I am proud that my union is sponsoring this important law,” said Jenny Fan, an employee at MedMen Long Beach cannabis dispensary, and a member of UFCW Local 324.

There is still more work to be done. In California, AB 2188 does not deal with groups such as monitors, parolees, older adults who take opioids, pregnant women and mothers—all of whom have reported THC discrimination by government agencies and health care providers.

You can give your opinion to Governor Gavin Newsom on this law, or dozens of other cannabis on this link. Politicians are listening. Other state legislators can use the bill as model language for their states’ versions.


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