Yo, listen up! If you’re a worker in Cali who’s into that sticky-icky, then I got some good news for you. Starting on January 1, two new laws are gonna give you some solid employment protections. So roll up and check it out.
First off, we got Assembly Bill 2188, also known as AB 2188. This law was signed by Governor Gavin Newsom back in 2022 and it’s gonna change the game for all you cannabis-loving workers out there. Basically, employers won’t be able to fire or discipline you just because you tested positive for cannabis in a urine or hair test. And that goes for job applicants too. They can’t deny you a job just because of a positive drug test result. But hold up, this doesn’t mean all drug tests for cannabis are off the table. Employers can still use blood or saliva tests to check if you’ve been toking up.
Now, I gotta drop some knowledge on you regarding exceptions to this law. If you work in the building and construction industry, sorry my friend, but this law doesn’t have your back. It also doesn’t apply to jobs that require a federal background check or security clearance. So if you’re trying to get into one of those gigs, you might still have to watch your back when it comes to cannabis use.
Just so you know, Newsom didn’t sign AB 2188 alone. He did it as part of a package deal with other cannabis-related laws. In a press release, he said that the cannabis industry and consumers face challenges due to federal prohibition and rigid bureaucracy. So he’s trying to make things easier for everyone involved.
But yo, let’s talk about why these laws are so important. See, there’s been a lot of criticism from cannabis advocates about drug screenings that rely on hair or urine samples. They’re not reliable, man. They can show positive results for weeks after you’ve smoked up, even if you’re not impaired at the time of the test. It’s unfair, right? Dale Gieringer, the director of CalNORML, which is all about reforming marijuana laws, said that these new laws are gonna make things better for workers in Cali. He pointed out that testing bodily fluids for cannabis metabolites has been a way for employers to harass and discriminate against people who use cannabis legally in their own homes. But now, that’s gonna come to an end. And here’s another thing, studies have shown that workers who test positive for cannabis metabolites don’t have a higher risk of getting into workplace accidents. So, all you hardworking stoners out there can breathe a sigh of relief.
But wait, there’s more! We got Senate Bill 700, aka SB 700. This law is gonna clear things up when it comes to job applicants and their off-duty use of cannabis. Basically, employers can’t straight-up ask you if you smoke up outside of work. They can still ask about your criminal history though, but they can’t use any info about your past cannabis use related to your criminal history unless it’s allowed by law.
Jessica Hanson, the CEO of Symple Seeds, a cannabis seed company, thinks these new laws are awesome. She said they’re a victory for workers and the legal cannabis industry. She believes that responsible adults shouldn’t be penalized for exercising their right to smoke outside of work. And I gotta agree with her, man. It’s time we build a fairer and more mature cannabis industry.
Now, not everyone is happy about these laws, especially small business owners and the Chamber of Commerce. They see them as compliance headaches and even called AB 2188 a “job killer.” But hey, the lawmakers made some changes to the bill and the Chamber of Commerce dropped their opposition. So it looks like things are gonna work out after all.
So mark your calendars, my Cali friends, because January 1 is gonna be a big day for cannabis users in the workplace. AB 2188 and SB 700 are gonna give you some much-needed protections and make sure you’re not discriminated against just because you enjoy a little herb on the side. It’s a win for all you hardworking stoners out there. Stay lifted, my friends!