Rep. Don Young of Alaska and Rep. Charlie Crist of Florida have introduced legislation to protect military veterans' cannabis treatment options and their ability to be employed by the federal government, Young’s office announced today.
Use of marijuana by federal employees is prohibited by law and is cause for termination of employment, according to Young’s office.
“I truly believe that this Congress we will see real reform of our nation’s cannabis laws — reform based on a states’ right approach,” said Young, a Republican. “This bill would protect federal workers, including veterans, from discrimination should they be participating in activities compliant with state-level cannabis laws on their personal time.
“The last thing we need is to drive talented workers away from these employment opportunities,” he said. “As a co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, I remain committed to promoting this bill as well as other legislation to protect individuals and reform our federal cannabis laws.”
Crist, a Democrat, noted the medical use of marijuana by veterans.
"For our veterans', cannabis has been shown to address chronic pain and PTSD, often replacing addictive and harmful opioids,” Crist said. “At the same time, the federal government is the largest employer of our veterans’ community. This conflict, between medical care and maintaining employment, needs to be resolved.”
The news release from Young’s office states that the Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act, House Resolution 1687, would do the following:
● Prohibit marijuana metabolite testing from being used as the sole factor to deny or terminate federal employment for civilian positions at executive branch agencies if the individual is in compliance with the marijuana laws in their state of residence.
● Extend to an individual’s past private use of cannabis.
• Prohibit probable cause testing if an individual is believed to be impaired at work.
The legislation would not apply to individuals occupying or seeking a position requiring a top-secret clearance, according to Young’s office.