Washington, DC makes two big changes around cannabis use in the District
The mayor and government of Washington, DC have recently made two pretty common sense changes in the law that should make cannabis users in the District happier.
First up, the mayor of DC has shared a memo that the government is aiming to “allow employees maximum freedom to use cannabis in ways that are legal under District law.” That includes stating clearly that DC workers who aren’t on the clock are legally allowed to use cannabis without facing retaliation at their jobs. Of course, if workers use heavy machinery, or otherwise do work that would be impacted by off-the-clock cannabis use, that’s a different story (and the memo says that “safety-sensitive” or “protection-sensitive” staff will still be subject to drug testing, as you’d expect). But just like tobacco and alcohol, as long as employees’ work lives aren’t negatively impacted, the mayor says that “there is a sphere of personal freedom for adult employees, who are allowed under district law to possess cannabis.” Treating your employees like responsible adults? What a wild concept!
And it’s not even just adults that DC is treating that way — the District has separately made a quick change to the law that allows students at city schools who need to use medical marijuana to do so on campus without issue. Previously, patients (who suffer from conditions like epilepsy and use cannabis to manage those conditions) could only take their medication at home or at a medical facility, but this change, passed as emergency legislation, allows students who quality under the medical marijuana plan to use the drug in a non-smokeable form, if not using it would otherwise interrupt their instruction.
That makes perfect sense, and it will allow people who need the drug to be able to use it where they are, instead of having to be pulled out of school just to deal with a medical issue. Hopefully, we’ll see more common sense changes like this enacted as cannabis legalization continues to spread across the US. Not only should cannabis be legal everywhere, but responsible adults and children who need it both should be able to use it without ruining their careers or interrupting their lives. Kudos to DC for clarifying the law and enacting these changes in both cases.