CaLifornia Has Big New for AB 2188

CA Weed bill

We have an update on our previous blog post regarding smoking weed when off the clock and loosing your job.

Click here to read that blog post now.

Big News, Big Changes

Finally.

On September 18, 2022, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 2188.

Hallelujah. Big changes in the right direction.

This is a huge, huge step forward for workers’ rights takes across the United States of America. The Governor signed this bill as part of a 10 cannabis bill package that were recentlly sent to his desk.

AB 2188

Thanks to AB 2188, California has officially made it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees for using cannabis while off-duty/off the the clock.

The bill effectively ends pre-employment urine testing, with exceptions for Federal jobs and for those working in construction/building trades.

As we mentioned in our previous post surrounding the topic, Assemblymember Bill Quirk, a former NASA climate scientist is who sponsored the bill. He argued that urine testing workers for cannabis has no scientific merit. “Consumer and patient groups like California NORML and Americans for Safe Access also said that it’s an unjust giveaway to testing companies. The North American drug testing industry grossed nearly $2B in 2020, with projections estimating $4.5B in revenue by 2028. Leading company Quest Diagnostics performed 11 million screenings in 2021″ (Leafly).

“Not a single, scientifically controlled FDA study has shown cannabis metabolite testing to be effective in improving workplace safety or productivity,” California NORML states in a support letter.

“Do Better”

AB 2188 tells California employers, “Do better.” Employers will now have to screen for active THC, and not chemical remnants of the drug. 

I think we can all agree that when it comes to cannabis use, our laws need to do better. This is a good place to start for employment purposes.

“California has always led the nation in cannabis industry policies, and with AB 2188, we have the opportunity to lead once again by prohibiting discrimination against workers who legally consume cannabis when they are off the job,” stated Matt Bell, the Secretary-Treasurer of UFCW Local 324. “Using outdated cannabis tests only causes employees to feel unsafe and harassed at work, it does not increase workplace safety. UFCW members are proud to support AB 2188 because it’s about time that the law kept up with science,” he added (Leafly).

In California, employers often use urinalysis to avoid paying worker’s compensation for injuries.

Therefore, employees who use cannabis on Friday, and then unfortuntely get injured while completely sober at work the following week, may have to undergo urine screening.

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