California Medical Marijuana Employment Rights Bill Approved by Senate Committee

Americans for Safe Access
For Immediate Release: April 5, 2011

California Medical Marijuana Employment Rights Bill Approved by Senate Committee
Legislation would prevent discrimination, continue to guard against impairment at the workplace

Sacramento, CA -- The State Senate Judiciary Committee voted 3-2 today, approving a bill that would protect medical marijuana patients from discrimination at the workplace. Senate Bill 129, introduced by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) in January is an attempt to clarify the legislative intent of the state's Medical Marijuana Program Act passed in 2003. While clearly establishing a patient's right to work, SB 129 continues to prohibit on-the-job impairment. The bill now moves to the senate floor for an as-of-yet unscheduled vote.

"When Californians approved the compassionate use of cannabis, they never intended for it to apply only to unemployed people," said Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). "With unemployment at record-high rates, we should be doing everything we can to keep productive and responsible members of the workforce in their jobs."

Download a Fact Sheet about SB129

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Also see: Delayed Vote Delayed on SB 129

Key Pot Bills Introduced in Sacramento: Employment Rights, Cultivation Decrim, MMJ Regulation on the Table

sb 129

It is great that this issue is finally being addressed and patients are going to be protected, but I feel the "Safety sensetive" clause is a shame. It is exluding a large group of people from being able to benefit from this medicine, just to make the uninformed and uneducated feel beter about it. It is legal for anyone to drink alcohol and go to work if they are not impaired. Why is marijuana any different? If you are not impaired what is the difference? On top of that, going to work the next day after drinking is much more dangerous, than after using marijuana the day before. The fact that that sb129 talks about how there are tests to determine impairment, why should it mater if a nurse uses medical marijuana on his/her off day, but isn't impaired at work. How is that any different then alcohol use, or any other highly addictive and toxic painkillers drs. hand out like candy. I understand somtimes we need to give a little to get some things passed, but to me this just enables people to think marijuana is still a terrible drug, because people in "safety sensitive" positions can't use it. It is time to press and not give in to these uninformed hypocrites, who take all kinds of drugs prescribed by a dr, and joke and say " can't wait to take a percocet or vicodin today, and drink a few beers, I need to relax". They justify it and think its ok, because a dr. prescribed it, and think they are not taking powerfull and dangerous drugs. Those are the people that go to work the next day hungover and impaired. Marijuana patients don't go to work hungover and/or impaired. How is it ok to tell your employer, I am prescribed an opiate and its ok to work in a safety sensitive position? I guess my point is, that we have made serious changes in the right direction, but we need to really start not giving concessions to the uninformed hypocrites just to get something passed.