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Wisconsin Legislator Wants to Ban Marijuana Drug Testing for Jobs

Eric Marsch of Wisconsin NORML doesn’t understand why most employers are still testing for THC. Representative David Bowen is introducing a bill February 15 to ban employers from testing for THC via urine screening. Positive urine screenings disqualify many for jobs.

Heavy equipment jobs would not be included, but public and private sector jobs in other industries would be included, according to Isthmus. A rally is scheduled at the Capitol on Feb. 15 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. regarding the issue. NORML will provide information and discuss the topic with legislators to draw attention to the potential legalization.

Marsch said, “Especially with cannabis being legal in so many states, no one should have to worry about losing their job for recreational cannabis use. We strongly believe that no one should be penalized at work for what they do in their free time.”

Bowen said, via email, that, “Consuming THC weeks or months out from a job interview should not disqualify someone from finding employment any more than someone who drank a few beers on another date should be kept out of work. While I am in favor of the safe legalization and regulation of marijuana for both recreational and medicinal use, until that happens, people should not be stigmatized for using a substance whose effect on society is less negative than society’s reaction to it.”

NORML says that urine tests are not effective since THC stays in the system long after its effects wear off.

Marsch says the testing “serves only to persecute medical patients and people with alternative (yet increasingly mainstream) lifestyles by denying them the right to employment”.

Marsch also says that losing a job over marijuana use should only be valid if the use makes it dangerous or difficult for someone to do their job.

While resistance to Bowen’s proposal is expected, it creates a discussion and draws attention to people being penalized for what they do in their personal time.

Marsch said, “With tens of thousands of Wisconsinites being directly harmed by prohibition every year, we know this will be a winning issue as long as we keep dialogue and attention on it.”