As New York State gets closer to legalizing recreational marijuana, the city council of New York has voted in favor of a bill that will ban employers from subjecting prospective employees to pre-employment cannabis tests.
If enacted into law, this bill will be a trailblazer because no other city or municipality in the U.S. has passed such a law explicitly stating that employers are no longer allowed to test job applicants for marijuana before considering them for employment.
The bill contains a clause that it will only be enacted a minimum of one year after the bill has been passed. This lag time is understood to mean that by the time the bill is enacted, the State of New York will have passed its own recreational cannabis legalization law.
Advocates for this bill in the City Council should have no fears because the Mayor of New York City has indicated on several occasions that he will sign the bill when the time comes.
This bill will apply to employees in both the private and public sector. However, some categories of workers would be exempted from the protections of this law. For example, truck drivers, pilots and police officers will still be tested for marijuana.
Similarly, employees who are suspected of smoking marijuana on the job will also not be exempted from this ban on employee testing.
The city council of New York also passed another bill that removes marijuana testing as a condition for parole or probation. This particular bill will be enforced as soon as the Mayor signs it into law.
Analysts say the bill on parole and probation could possibly have a more significant impact than the one on pre-employment cannabis testing. This is because the bill brings a major shift in the dispensing of justice in the City.
According to available statistics, more than half of the companies in New York City perform pre-employment marijuana testing. These tests are expensive, as each test costs approximately $31-$40.
However, the usefulness of such tests has been brought into question since cannabis metabolites can be detected in a sample of blood or urine months after the individual consumed marijuana. Additionally, a positive test result doesn’t give any indication of the frequency of cannabis consumption, or whether the person tested was impaired at the time the test was done.
As more states legalize either recreational or medical marijuana, the likelihood of getting a positive test result increases exponentially and it gets harder to decide what to do with those results since an individual can claim to have consumed cannabis months back when traveling through a state where it is legal.
ChineseInvesters.com (OTCQB: CIIX) and Choom Holdings Inc. (CSE: CHOO) (OTCQB: CHOOF) applaud the framers of the bill since the law will prevent the needless waste of precious resources on drug tests for a substance that is legal in for medical use two-thirds of the country.
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