One of the long running controversies in America is whether marijuana should be legalized. A new bill introduced by New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker proposes to legalize marijuana on the federal level, with states being urged to follow suit with several incentives for doing so. To date, marijuana is legal for recreational use in eight U.S. states and Washington, D.C., with 29 states and D.C. allowing the use only for medical purposes.
The bill, tentatively called the Marijuana Justice Act of 2017, would remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substance Act. It also features a series of steps to curb federal funding for states where there is a disproportionate rate of arrests of the poor and minorities for marijuana offenses and calls for federal courts to expunge each conviction for marijuana use or possession entered before marijuana was legalized at the federal level. The Act calls for the creation of a Community Reinvestment Fund to reinvest in drug-ridden communities by providing grants for job training and support of youth and health education programs, among other activities.
The Republican-driven Congress will likely shrug off the bill with support from the Trump administration, considering Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ comments on hitting the gavel harder on marijuana charges. However, in a Facebook Live session, Senator Booker expressed how a significant number of Americans are in support of marijuana legalization. A recent CBS poll found that 61 % of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized, and 88% favored using marijuana for medical reasons.
Making marijuana legal across the U.S. would make life easier for HR departments. Currently, organizations face dilemmas in states where marijuana use is legal, but is illegal at the federal level. A recent legal case in Massachusetts highlighted this dilemma. An employee failed a mandatory drug test after informing her organization that she was using marijuana for a medical condition, as allowed by state law. She was fired. The court ruled that medical marijuana use within the state is as legal and lawful as the use of any other prescribed medication and that the company did not have the right to dismiss the employee.
While Senator Booker’s proposed legislation may not be the answer, some rationalization of federal and state laws concerning the legal use of marijuana would provide more certainty for businesses and how they should implement company drug policies.
News Moderator: Ron Strider 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: New Ambitious Bill Proposes to Legalize Marijuana Across The Nation | The ACA Times
Author: Robert Sheen
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