D.C. Council Says Staff Cannot Get Fired for Pot


Staff within the nation’s capital gained’t have to fret about getting canned over hashish, under a bill handed by the Washington, D.C. metropolis council on Tuesday.

The measure, often called the “Hashish Employment Protections Modification Act of 2022,” was accredited unanimously by the governing physique.

It now awaits the signature of Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. According to National Public Radio, if Bowser have been to signal it, “the invoice will grow to be regulation after a 60-day congressional overview and the invoice’s publication within the District of Columbia Register.”

The invoice doesn’t apply to each worker working in D.C. As the Washington Post noted, the regulation would “[make] exceptions, nonetheless, for staff in ‘safety-sensitive jobs,’ together with operators of heavy equipment, development staff, police and safety guards who carry weapons and medical professionals.” And, after all, the regulation wouldn’t defend the scores of federal workers from dealing with self-discipline in the event that they examined constructive for hashish.

The federal authorities, nonetheless, continues to exert its authority over Washington, D.C.’s hashish legal guidelines.

Voters in D.C. accredited a measure legalizing pot use for adults again in 2014, however leisure hashish gross sales are nonetheless unlawful.

That’s as a result of Congress, which has authority over D.C.’s legal guidelines, has barred the commercialization of weed within the metropolis in each appropriations invoice for the reason that legalization measure handed eight years in the past.

There was hope final 12 months that Congress could lastly finish the restriction, after a draft invoice launched within the Senate final October didn’t embrace the supply.

Bowser’s camp applauded that on the time.

“The Senate appropriations invoice is a important step in recognizing that in a democracy, D.C. residents ought to be ruled by D.C. values,” Bowser’s workplace said in a press release. “As we proceed on the trail to D.C. statehood, I wish to thank Senate Appropriations Committee Chair, Senator Patrick Leahy, our good pal and Subcommittee Chair, Senator Chris Van Hollen, and, after all, our champion on the Hill, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, for recognizing and advancing the desire of D.C. voters. We urge Congress to go a remaining spending invoice that equally removes all anti-Dwelling Rule riders, permitting D.C. to spend our native funds as we see match.”

Republicans, nonetheless, weren’t happy.

“This one-sided course of has resulted in payments that spend in extra of the Democrats’ personal funds decision and fail to provide equal consideration to our nation’s protection. Their payments are crammed with poison capsules and problematic authorizing provisions, and so they take away essential legacy riders on matters like terrorism, abortion, and immigration that for years have loved broad help on each side of the aisle,” Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Shelby mentioned on the time.

By March, Shelby and the Republicans gained out, as the final version of the appropriations bill maintained the ban.

Teams such because the Drug Coverage Alliance and the American Civil Liberties Union lamented the event, saying that Washington, D.C. “stays the one jurisdiction within the nation that can’t regulate marijuana gross sales or fruitfully faucet into the general public well being and security advantages of legalization.”

“In a single hand, Congress continues to make strides in advancing federal marijuana reform grounded in racial justice, whereas concurrently being liable for prohibiting the very jurisdiction that led the nation in legalizing marijuana by this lens from having the ability to regulate it. This battle and contradiction should finish now,” Queen Adesuyi, Senior Nationwide Coverage Supervisor for the Drug Coverage Alliance, mentioned in March.

Regardless of the ban, some retailers in Washington, D.C. have nonetheless managed to promote pot, usually by the apply of “gifting,” by which a enterprise sells a product (usually a t-shirt or hat) after which supplies the shopper with a “reward” of weed.

In April, the D.C. Metropolis Council rejected a proposal to crack down on these retailers.

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