SALEM, Ore. — Even in states where marijuana is legal, employers can still choose to fire workers who test positive for marijuana — even if there’s no evidence they were high on the job. But one state legislator wants to change that.
Employers in Oregon would be prohibited from banning marijuana use by employees during their days off under a bill introduced in the Oregon Senate.
The bill is among several that cover marijuana, whose recreational use was legalized in a statewide ballot measure in 2014.
Bill No. 301 would make it unlawful for employers to condition employment on “refraining from using any substance that is lawful to use in Oregon.”
Measure 91 legalized recreational marijuana in the state, but it did not affect existing employment law.
The bill aims to amend a state law about use of tobacco to include cannabis and any other substance that is legal in the state. But if a collective bargaining agreement prohibits off-duty use of such substances, that rule would take precedence.
Some of the other pot-related bills in the Oregon Senate and House would:
— Change the name of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which regulates and licenses recreational marijuana, to the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission
— Provide for the OLCC to regulate the consumption and sale of marijuana items at temporary events
— Establish a task force that would identify existing legal barriers to consuming cannabis in social settings. The task force would, among other duties, also identify opportunities for consumption by residents and visitors of cannabis in social settings and evaluate their economic potential.
— Waive fees for medical marijuana cards for veterans who have serious disabilities incurred or aggravated during military service
— Tax retail sales of marijuana seeds
— Establish an Oregon Cannabis Commission to fulfill duties, functions and powers relating to medical marijuana use, and removing those duties from the Oregon Health Authority.
Follow reporter Andrew Selsky on Twitter @andrewselsky