"No state employer shall subject an employee or prospective employee to negative employment consequences just because they test positive for THC as long as they’re a registered medical cannabis patient who received a marijuana recommendation from a licensed physician," Bel Edwards said.
Exceptions To Marijuana Workplace Protections
State employers could still penalize workers found to be intoxicated from marijuana on the job.
"Workers could still face adverse employment actions for testing positive for marijuana metabolites if their jobs require them to operate a vehicle or if they work in any of the following professions: emergency medical services, law enforcement, public safety officials, any state employee of the horse racing commission, and firefighter services,” reads the bill.
However, Mandie Landry said that providing medical cannabis workplace protections for state employees is just one of the first steps toward broader reform; recognizing that incremental reforms may be the most practical in the short term.
“I think we’ll be able to come up—at least with industries or different areas of employment—that we can expand it pretty easily,” Landry said. “We’ll be able to come up with ideas and legislation in terms of expanding these protections statewide,” she said adding that the idea is to extend these protections to cover workers in the private sector as well.
“This legislation only affects state employees, but we hope to see progression for all workers in the coming sessions including first responders,” said Kevin Caldwell, Southeast legislative manager of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “Rep. Mandie Landry was tenacious in her leadership to get this vital piece of legislation through the process to the governor’s desk.”
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