In a surprising turn of events, New York City may become the first place ban marijuana testing as part of a job application.
New York City, which recently hit the news because of Governor Cuomo’s plans to legalize recreational use of marijuana, so far is one of the less progressive places when it comes to legal use.
Yes, medical marijuana is legalized but the state’s roll out has been botched and the on the ground situation for patients is rather abysmal.
Many employers include testing for marijuana use in their application process. Given the still stigmatized reputation of marijuana and, of course, marijuana’s Schedule 1 status on the list of controlled substances it is difficult to blame HR departments for being outdated and conservative in their approach. Whether we like that or not.
Luckily, always more research becomes available which does provide insight and increases the positive vibe around our plant. No, we are not unproductive members of society. And thus neither should medical marijuana patients be excluded from landing jobs because they may have THC residue (metabolites) in their system.
New York City Legislation Filed to Ban Marijuana Testing in Application Process
New York City Councilman Jumanee Williams agrees with that as well and has filed a piece of legislation which would forbid employers from testing applicants on marijuana consumption during the hiring process.
“As we’re jettisoning toward legalization, it doesn’t make sense that [a positive test for THC] would prevent someone from getting gainful employment”
— Jumaane Williams, New York Councilman to New York Daily News
The legislation filed contains the complete ban on pre-employment testing for marijuana. The keen smoker immediately spotted that, obviously. Done having to abstain yourself from your beloved spliff or bong for up to a month before applying for a new job.
Sadly enough, the bill only covers pre-employment testing. Thus if an accident occurs during work, employers can still test for marijuana use and receive a pink slip if the result is positive.
At the same time some positions in the city’s workforce would be exempt from the ban and police officers, lifeguards, and heavy machinery operators would still be subjected to a marijuana test. Companies bound by federal contracts would also still be required to test their applicants.
For everyone else though, New York City could become one of the most progressive places in the USA for job applicants. Despite its still lacking recreational use legalization and its poor medical use implementation.
We, of course, can not wait for legalization — and federal descheduling — and New York’s social affairs and also its subway could definitely benefit from the new tax revenue legalized adult-use would bring, but Jumaane Williams’ legislation is even a step further. A big step.
Whether the bill passes or not in New York, other states should follow Williams’ example and pass their own similar laws. Even if only for medical users initially.
Ending the discrimination of cannabis users during the job application process is long overdue.