Louisiana Legislature Passes Bill to Protect State Workers from Termination for Medical Cannabis

Louisiana lawmakers passed legislation to protect state workers from being terminated for medical cannabis use but the measure does not apply to certain safety-sensitive jobs, including public safety officials.

Full story after the jump.

Louisiana lawmakers passed a bill last week to protect state workers from being terminated for medical cannabis use, 4WWL reports. The measure includes protections for prospective new employees were they to test positive on an initial drug screen as long as they have a physician’s recommendation.

The law does not apply to certain safety-sensitive jobs, including public safety officials.

State Rep. Mandie Landry (D) said the legislation was needed as the state had zero protections for workers who are also medical cannabis patients and each state agency had different policies.

“It doesn’t mean you can be high at work at all. The language in the bill is very clear, just like you can’t be drunk at work.” – Landry to 4WWL

Jacques Berry, communications director for the Louisiana Department of Administration, told 4WWL that the measure provides a “much needed medical marijuana policy to the state in terms of the employer.”

“It was important to get the basis of a policy in place,” he said in the interview. “This legislation accomplished that.”

The measure has bipartisan support in both chambers and moves next to Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) who can sign it, veto it, or allow it to take effect without his signature. Edwards has previously signed legislation to expand the state’s medical cannabis program, including a measure allowing patients to access smokable flower.

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