Recently, the California Judiciary Committee passed Senate Bill 129 which in essence, prevents employers from firing an employee for consuming medical marijuana when not at work. State Senator Mark Leno (D – San Francisco), who introduced the bill, says it would “prevent California employers from discriminating against medical marijuana patients.”
Case after case has been reported where employees have lost their jobs simply for being found to consume marijuana in their off-time for medicinal purposes. Similar legislation was defeated in 2008. According to Americans for Safe Access (ASA) who sponsored the 2008, AB2279 Bill, hundreds of Californians has reportedly faced discrimination in the workplace since 2005 since they began keep track of incidents. Interesting to note, Senator Mark Leno, then a State Assemblymember, introduced the 2008 legislation. We really like his perseverance! He may have a great political career ahead of him!
This is excellent news for the movement. Cannabis users, as a whole, live their lives in fear of being “found out” by the wrong person. Your sons teacher, the Pastor, your fellow soccer moms; the list could go on and on with your employer at the very top. Time for some protection in states that mandate our right to medicate with marijuana seems a natural progression. It should not be the uphill battle it has been. This is only for Californians yet there are 15 states, plus the District of Columbia and 12 other states with pending legislation. More work needs to be done so that all medical marijuana card holders enjoy the same protections as Californians do now; at the very least their jobs will be safe. You may still lose your kids, be arrested and looked upon as a lesser citizen, but hey, change usually happens in small doses and we’ll take what we can get for now!
Upward and onward!