May 18, 2023

Washington State Bans Pre-Employment Cannabis Screening

Washington Governor Jay Inslee recently signed Senate Bill 5123 which bans employers from requiring pre-employment drug screenings for evidence of cannabis use.

As Washington currently allows for recreational marijuana use, this bill was written to prevent discrimination against lawful marijuana use that takes place outside of work hours. Employers may still employ policies allowing for a drug-free workplace.

This law does not apply to federal jobs, law enforcement and first responder positions, airline and aerospace roles, and other safety-sensitive positions where impairment while working presents a substantial risk of death.

Washington’s move to ban pre-employment cannabis screenings follows a smaller trend seen in New York City, Nevada, and Philadelphia, but it falls in line with the greater trend of marijuana acceptance.

Recently, Delaware Governor John Carney declined to sign or veto House Bill 1 and House Bill 2, which both passed the state legislature earlier. The Governor’s inaction effectively legalizes recreational marijuana within the state, creating a framework for distribution, selling, possession, and other matters, making Delaware the 22nd state in the country to legalize recreational marijuana, with more soon likely to increase that number.

Meanwhile, Minnesota House File 100  passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, and has headed to Governor Tim Walz, who has reiterated his intent to sign the bill into law once it arrives in his office, effectively guaranteeing Minnesota to become the 23rd state to legalize recreational marijuana.

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