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Federal Employees May Get a Pass on Cannabis Usage

A new push has been announced to protect veterans and federal workers who use medical marijuana.

In August, Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL) announced a bipartisan bill that would make it illegal to fire or deny employment to federal workers who are prescribed cannabis, while allowing military veterans more treatment options.

The bill, called the Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act, addresses the growing chasm between federal and state laws that has resulted in marijuana being legal in many localities even as it’s still federally prohibited.

“Medical marijuana is an issue of compassion, and in the veterans’ community, access is even more important as more and more veterans are turning to cannabis to address chronic pain and PTSD. At the same time, the federal government is the largest employer of veterans; however, private cannabis use even in states that have legalized medical marijuana is prohibited in these positions,” Crist said at a press conference announcing the new bill. “Our veterans shouldn’t have to choose between treatment options or job opportunities.”

The Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act would not protect federal employees from possible termination if they are found to be using cannabis on the job, nor would it apply to any government employee with or seeking a top-secret security clearance.

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