California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new bill this week that will ban employer testing of employees for the use of marijuana beginning in 2024.
The new bill will make it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees in any way based on the presence of marijuana in their systems.
Under the new law, if a drug test finds “non psychoactive cannabis metabolites” – which means cannabis was consumed recently but is not immediately psychoactive in the system – an employee is protected from any sort of consequences from their employer.
The ban on cannabis testing is set to take effect on January 1, 2024.
“For too many Californians, the promise of cannabis legalization remains out of reach,” said Newsom in a statement. “These measures build on the important strides our state has made toward this goal, but much work remains to build an equitable, safe and sustainable legal cannabis industry. I look forward to partnering with the Legislature and policymakers to fully realize cannabis legalization in communities across California.”
The bill protects workers from using marjuana, which is legal in the state, outside of work and off work premises.
“Urine tests are a highly offensive invasion of workers’ personal bodily privacy. Workers should have the same right to use cannabis as to use other legal substances off the job,” said marijuana activist and director of the NORML organization for California, Dale Gieringer, to the LA Times.
Author of the bill, California Assemblyman Bill Quirk, celebrated the passing of the new legislature on Twitter.
“I am happy to say my bill AB 2188 was signed by the @CAgovernor yesterday,” he wrote. “Thank you to the advocates and sponsors for your continued support. I applaud the Governor for his commitment to redress the harms of cannabis prohibition. This reform is long overdue.”
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