Kansas City Ends Pre-Employment Cannabis Screenings for Most City Employees

Kansas City, Missouri voted on Thursday to end pre-employment cannabis drug screenings at most city jobs.

Full story after the jump.

The Kansas City, Missouri City Council on Thursday ended pre-employment screenings for cannabis for most city jobs, the Kansas City Star reports. The ordinance, which was approved 11-2, includes exemptions for police, positions requiring a commercial diver’s license, jobs involving the supervision of children, medical patients, the disabled, and other vulnerable people.

Applicants and employees can still be tested for other drugs under the ordinance.

Mayor Quinton Lucas said on Twitter that the ordinance represents “one step of many in becoming a fairer city.”

“Opportunities should not be foreclosed unnecessarily. Glad to see passage of our law eliminating pre-employment screening for marijuana at Kansas City government for most positions.” – Lucas via Twitter

The ordinance aligns Kansas City’s hiring rules with the city’s cannabis laws, which were relaxed in 2017 when voters decided to decriminalize cannabis possession up to 35 grams. Cannabis possession under the decriminalization law can lead to a $25 fine.

In June 2020, the City Council passed an ordinance to remove cannabis and paraphernalia possession as a violation of the City Code of Ordinances, according to a press release from Lucas’ office.

In February 2020, Lucas implemented a Mayoral Marijuana Pardon Program which allows individuals previously convicted for low level cannabis and paraphernalia possession to apply for a pardon from the mayor. He issued his first pardon under the program in August 2020.

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