In a landmark move, the state of Maine has decided to protect cannabis users from being penalized by employers. This allows users of medical and recreational cannabis to partake in cannabis use without the fear and worry of risking employment. The Maine Department of Labor no longer lists cannabis as a substance required for testing for employers requiring drug tests from their employees. This is huge!
Maine voters approved use of medical cannabis in 1999, just three years after the first state to medicalize, California. However, Maine went on to legalize adult use cannabis in 2016 making it precede California and become one of the first states on the east coast to enter the recreational market.
California though, the first state in the country to legalize medical cannabis in 1996, is far behind when it comes to protecting its cannabis using constituents. Many patients and people I have talked to over the years have expressed great concern when it comes to their employers finding out about their medical consumption of cannabis for whatever ailment they are seeking relief from. This is especially true for folks that work government of social service jobs.
On the contrary, pharmaceuticals that often affect and alter mood, ability to operate machinery and impair cognition are all socially acceptable in the workplace. Hopefully now that progressive Maine is taking the lead in ensuring cannabis users are protected in the workplace, California will be soon to follow.
Did you know that Maine’s medical marijuana program was voted best in the country for both 2014 and 2015?