Marijuana has been in the decriminalization process since 1973 with many states over the years passing laws to either authorize the use of marijuana or prohibit it. It is time to stop treating marijuana like a deadly drug, when science and public opinion agree that it is relatively safe for adult recreational and medical use. With recreational and medical marijuana on the verge of nationwide legalization, marijuana growers and dispensaries are popping up everywhere.

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A bill introduced in Congress last week would offer employment protections to federal workers who use marijuana in accordance with the laws of their state. The bipartisan measure was introduced on July 26 and is co-sponsored by Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) and Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA).

The state of Georgia legalized the medical use of cannabis in 2015, and Florida followed with a similar law the following year.

Bill Protects Federal Workers

The Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act (H.R. 6589) would prevent workers who test positive for using cannabis, either medicinally or recreationally, in compliance with the laws of the state in which they reside. The measure would prevent the government from denying employment or subjecting them “to any other adverse personnel action,” according to the text of the bill.

The bill would apply to federal workers “whose residence is in a State where that individual’s private use of marijuana is not prohibited,” even if their job is in a state without legal cannabis. More than 200 million people live in the 30 states that have legalized some form of medical marijuana. Nine of those states have also passed measures legalizing the recreational use of cannabis.

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