Stop Kicking Young People Out Of Jobs Training Program For Marijuana, Congressional Chairwoman Says

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As Congress prepares legislation to reauthorize Job Corps, the nation’s largest residential career-training program for youth and young adults, the chairwoman of a key House panel is urging colleagues to consider eliminating a drug-screening requirement that each year prevents thousands of young people from participating—overwhelmingly for cannabis. “Job Corps enjoys widespread bipartisan support, and I hope we can find bipartisan agreement to make it even more effective,” Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL), who chairs the House Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee, said at a hearing last week. “This includes changing the counterproductive ‘zero tolerance’ language enacted during the Clinton administration, which requires automatic dismissal of young people for alcohol abuse, minor drug offenses and other infractions.” “Blanket drug testing, with follow up tests being required even before the chemicals may have fully left a student’s body, have led to roughly 12,500 expulsions, 91 percent of which were for marijuana use,” Wilson said. “Today, recreational marijuana use is either legal or has been decriminalized in nearly half of our states.” Rather than dismissal from the program, evidence of drug use “should instead be met with more reasonable and helpful interventions, like counseling or treatment,” the chairwoman said. The House committee’s discussion last Thursday was the first of three planned hearings to discuss reauthorizing the Workplace Innovation and Opportunity Act, which comprises Job Corps and other career-preparatory programs. That the chair of a key subcommittee highlighted the marijuana and drug punishment in her opening remarks at the hearing signals that there’s a good chance it could be eliminated or scaled back as Congress works to revise the law this session. Established in 1964 and overseen by the Department of Labor, Job Corps offers free vocational skills training and other educational support to young people between the ages of 16 and 24. More…

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Source : Stop Kicking Young People Out Of Jobs Training Program For Marijuana, Congressional Chairwoman Says

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