Louisiana Lawmakers Approve Medical Marijuana Employment Protections For State Workers

Louisiana Lawmakers Approve Medical Marijuana Employment Protections For State Workers
MJ moment

“There are a lot of people who don’t want to take opioids for their long-term PTSD and pain management because of the high possibility of addiction to opioids.” By Piper Hutchinson, Louisiana Illuminator The Louisiana House Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations unanimously advanced a bill Thursday that would protect state employees who are legally treated with medical marijuana. House Bill 988, sponsored by Rep. Mandie Landry, D-New Orleans, protects state employees from negative consequences if they are diagnosed with a condition for which their doctor recommends medical marijuana that is used in accordance with state law. The law would protect employees from being fired and would protect prospective employees from being discriminated against for their use of medical marijuana. The bill would not apply to law enforcement, firefighters or other public safety officials. The Louisiana Board of Pharmacy reported that there are over 43,000 medical marijuana users in the state. The first medical marijuana dispensaries in the state began operating in 2019. “There are a lot of people who don’t want to take opioids for their long-term PTSD and pain management because of the high possibility of addiction to opioids,” Landry said. “This has proved to be a better option than them.” Rep. Larry Frieman, R-Abita Springs, raised concerns that the issue should be addressed by state agencies, not by the Legislature. Jacques Berry, communications director for the Louisiana Department of Administration, clarified that his department has policies protecting its workers from discrimination based on medical marijuana use and that the bill would create uniform policies across all state agencies. Berry referred to the impact of a sexual-harassment law sponsored two years by the committee’s chairwoman, Rep. Barbara Carpenter, D-Baton Rouge. “Every agency had a sexual harassment policy, but they were all over the place, and Dr. Carpenter wanted…

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