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Sunday, June 16, 2024
Assembly Session, Right to work, Budget 2015
Assembly Session, Right to work, Budget 2015

Smoking weed and looking for a job? A new bill in the state Capitol would make it easier

Wisconsinites who have consumed marijuana in the past few months may have an easier time obtaining jobs under a bill sponsored by a Democratic lawmaker.

The bill, authored by state Rep. David Bowen, D-Milwaukee, would prevent employers from urine testing for THC. It would also bar employers from denying potential employees on the basis of testing positive for cannabis.

Bowen has tried, unsuccessfully, to legalize both recreational and medical marijuana.

"While I am in favor of the safe legalization and regulation of marijuana for both recreational and medicinal use, until that happens, people should not be stigmatized for using a substance whose effect on society is less negative than society's reaction to it," Bowen said.

The bill comes after Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill into law legalizing cannabinoid oil for medical purposes last April. And most recently, state Republicans passed a series of welfare reforms, including mandatory drug testing for food stamp recipients.

Bowen hopes the bill will allow more Wisconsinites to find employment, ostensibly decreasing the cost of public assistance.

While states across the country are legalizing recreational use of marijuana, Wisconsin’s chapter of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws worries drug testing could prevent people who consumed THC legally from obtaining employment in the state.

"Consuming THC weeks or months out from a job interview should not disqualify someone from finding employment any more than someone who drank a few beers on another date should be kept out of work," Bowen said.

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