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Wisconsin Politician Proposes Bill to Ban Employers From Testing Workers for THC

One of the issues with marijuana legalization is how workplaces should handle the drug. Even though cannabis may be legal, employers are still allowed to ban their workers from using it. But it turns out that may not be the case anymore, at least in one non-legalized state.

David Bowen, a state representative in Wisconsin, is introducing a bill that would ban employers in the state from testing their workers for THC. THC is the compound in marijuana that causes users to get high. Bowen's bill would ban employers from testing their worker's urine for THC and also block them from refusing to hire someone for testing positive for cannabis.

“Consuming THC weeks or months out from a job interview should not disqualify someone from finding employment any more than someone who drank a few beers on another date should be kept out of work,” Bowen said. “While I am in favor of the safe legalization and regulation of marijuana for both recreational and medicinal use, until that happens, people should not be stigmatized for using a substance whose effect on society is less negative than society's reaction to it.”

This would be quite an accomplishment, as even legalized states are still struggling to determine what the best regulations should be for marijuana in the workplace. If Wisconsin were to pass this law, that would be impressive considering they don't have recreational marijuana.

Urine tests for THC are also known to be highly unreliable. The compound can stay in a person's system for weeks after use, so a positive test doesn't offer any timeline for when that person last used marijuana. 

The other issue is anti-marijuana workplace rules discriminate against medical cannabis users who need the drug to treat serious medical conditions. In those cases using marijuana not only doesn't hurt their job performance, but probably is the only thing that allows them to work.

While it's unlikely this bill will gain much traction, more attention being put on this issue is always a good thing.

(h/t Isthmus)


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