Louisiana Lawmakers To Consider Employment Protections For Medical Marijuana Patients This Week

Louisiana Lawmakers To Consider Employment Protections For Medical Marijuana Patients This Week
MJ moment

“This would basically be a first step to having laws on the books to protect people who have medical marijuana cards.” By Wesley Muller, Louisiana Illuminator State agencies in Louisiana could soon be prohibited from firing workers who use medical marijuana. The Louisiana House Labor Committee will consider a bill on Thursday that would prohibit the state from subjecting employees or prospective employees to any negative consequences based solely on a positive drug test for marijuana if the worker uses the drug on the recommendation of a physician. House Bill 988, sponsored by Rep. Mandie Landry, (D), would not apply to private employers or local government, including law enforcement agencies. Landry said her bill is unlikely to survive the powerful business and law enforcement lobbyists in the State Capitol, so she limited it to public employers at the state level. “This would basically be a first step to having laws on the books to protect people who have medical marijuana cards,” Landry said. Landry said medical marijuana patients are still being terminated from jobs or turned away as job candidates due to drug testing. “The companies that do the testing don’t know what to do with a positive marijuana result so they send it to the agency, and from what I understand, each situation is handled individually,” she said. Medical marijuana became legal in Louisiana in 2016, but the program has gotten off to a slow start. Prices for the drug remain inflated far beyond street value as lawmakers continue to sort through regulatory bottlenecks, nuanced legal ambiguities and employment regulations surrounding drug tests. The legalization law initially required doctors to hold a special license in order to prescribe the drug. Lawmakers later removed the special license requirement and changed the word “prescribe” to “recommend,” bypassing any red tape from the…

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