Boston, Massachusetts

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Massachusetts Bill Would Protect Jobs of Cannabis Users

A state senator in Massachusetts is aiming to align state labor laws with the fact that cannabis prohibition has been ended.

Full story after the jump.

A Massachusetts bill proposed by state Sen. Jason Lewis (D) would prevent cannabis consumer workers from being fired for using the plant, The Boston Globe reports.

Massachusetts legalized in 2016, though delays in establishing a regulated seed-to-sale program meant that the state’s actual sales launch only took place a few weeks ago, just before Thanksgiving. The program is now underway, with additional retailers being added regularly.

Workers who use cannabis, however, can still be fired from their jobs in Massachusetts, even if they’re not intoxicated at work.

State Sen. Lewis’ legislation would prevent the firing of a worker who uses cannabis in their private home and time, moving cannabis as a substance to be more in line with alcohol. Employers who contract with the federal government, however, would be exempted from the new law, pending the end of federal prohibition.

“This is not intended to be a blanket protection for people to use cannabis whenever and wherever they like. But as long as they’re not impaired and it’s not impacting their work, employers should not be able to discriminate against them in hiring or promotion, and companies certainly should not be terminating people simply because they legally use marijuana on their own time.” — Massachusetts state Sen. Jason Lewis (D), via The Boston Globe

The new bill is expected to be considered by lawmakers during the 2019 session. It’s unclear how lawmakers will react to the new legislation, despite its common-sense overtones.

Cannabis sales, however, have thrived so far in Massachusetts.

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