Anchorage, Alaska Proposal Would Relax Cannabis Policies for Most City Employees

City officials in Anchorage, Alaska are considering a proposal to prevent the termination of most city employees who test positive for cannabis; instead, the city would offer counseling and addiction treatment.

Full story after the jump.

City officials in Anchorage, Alaska are considering exempting some city employees from penalties for cannabis use, Must Read Alaska reports. Instead of termination, employees who test positive for cannabis will be offered counseling and addiction treatment.  

According to the proposed ordinance text, the purpose of the ordinance “is to repeal and replace the Municipality of Anchorage’s drug testing policy, specifically shifting from a punitive policy to a health-centered approach.”  

“It also substantially changes the policy regarding the testing of marijuana for municipal employees. With the changing legal landscape surrounding marijuana in Alaska and the evolving understanding of individual liberty and privacy interests, it is time to reevaluate our drug testing policy,” the ordinance states. “This proposal aims to remove marijuana testing for most municipal employees, aligning with the state’s stance on marijuana legalization while still maintaining safety standards for safety-sensitive positions, as defined by the Department of Transportation.” 

The ordinance does not explicitly outline what would be considered a safety-sensitive position; however, it does note that some jobs regulated by the federal Department of Transportation (USDOT) mandate drug testing for cannabis and that it is the policy of the Alaska Police Standards Council to prohibit sworn officers from cannabis possession, distribution, and cultivation and that Anchorage police “should remain covered under USDOT testing protocols.” 

The Anchorage Assembly will consider the proposal on Tuesday.

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