SACRAMENTO, March 29 – The California Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings today on Mark Leno’s bill to protect employment rights for medical marijuana users, SB 129, but the vote was delayed for another week due to illness of a committee member.
The committee heard powerful testimony from Peter O’Neill, who was fired as an assistant manager for Walgreens after being forced into a drug rehab program for testing positive for medical marijuana. Americans for Safe Access, Crusaders for Patients Rights (a Christian-based organization), Cal NORML and LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) also testified for the bill.
The bill had substantial opposition, including narcotics officers and police chiefs, the Chamber of Commerce, California Southern Cities, the California Hospital Association and a long list of business groups. Opponents maintained that the bill was what voters had rejected in Prop. 19.
Senator Leno stood up after the testimony and eloquently rebutted the bill’s detractors, point by point. He started by telling employers that meaningful impairment testing, a more effective alternative to drug testing, was available for demonstration at the website for Bowles-Langley Technology of Alameda, CA. (The company has also just released an iPhone App with its test called the Alertometer. See a demonstration of the Alertometer. )
It seems likely that SB129 will face a close vote in the legislature. Tell your state senator to support SB 129
See bill analysis