Medical cannabis has been a lifesaver in the health sector. It’s effectiveness and minimal to zero side effects has made it a popular choice for the majority of patients. Sadly, the laughable stereotypic view and the illegal status of cannabis has meant that there have been many discriminatory practices against those who use medical cannabis.
A significant biased process is the insistence on pre-employment drug testing. This has always being a pain in the ass for cannabis users, especially medical cannabis patients. Atlanta recently suspended pre-employment drug testing in prospective employees, but, is this good news for medical cannabis patients?
The impact of the pre-drug testing and its suspension
So here’s a typical scenario: you go for a job interview, compelled to take a “drug” test, and when marijuana is found in your system, you lose the job opportunity. For many years this system has victimized so many people despite explanations that they use cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Atlanta used to be a place with no regard for medical cannabis patients, there were no definite laws to prevent discrimination. Luckily, the city recently made the first move to protect medical cannabis patients in the work sector. On January 19th, 2021, the city suspended such pre-employment practices for specific occupations with an executive order. The executive order exempts prospective employees from physical examination and describes the test as a “barrier” that disrupts the hiring process. The city of Atlanta suspending pre-employment drug testing is GREAT news for cannabis consumers. It was predicted that there’ll be a lot of positive developments in 2021; well, so far so good!
Why Atlanta suspended the pre-employment testing procedure
Atlanta currently needs to explore and harness all its human capital resources, and such cannabis drug testing prevented many skilled people from occupying positions they could handle. If those skilled people are not taking their place in building businesses, the economy will crumble.
The city of Atlanta issued the executive order to suspend pre-employment drug testing because its committed to creating more employment opportunities for its residents without any discrimination against medical cannabis users. The city wants to make a positive job experience a reality for candidates who the pre-employment testing may have turned off.
By eliminating cannabis discrimination, the city can also eliminate discrimination aimed towards physical disability, health challenges, etc. A move against discrimination is a win for us all. Discrimination is a sad, primitive reality that no should ever have to endure. Luckily, with this executive order Atlanta is moving in the right direction. However, does the executive order cover all kinds of jobs and companies? Read on to find out!
Atlanta’s cannabis executive order coverage
It should be noted that the suspension is only applicable to non-safety jobs; jobs where the employees do not risk their lives or their safety. Drugs will still be screened for if the job is ‘safety-conscious’. Hopefully, as time passes and more developments are made we’ll see all restrictions lifted.
What does this law mean for medical cannabis patients in Atlanta?
Before the executive order detailing the suspension of pre-employment drug tests, Human Resource departments in Atlanta worked with an employment clause. The clause stated that all prospective employees must get a negative drug test if they want to be qualified for employment. As we all know, cannabis patients who use marijuana as an alternative medication will not get a negative test. Therefore, they become automatically disqualified before even applying. This useless law has left Atlanta full of skilled but unemployed medical cannabis users.
Thankfully it’s a new day in Atlanta. The executive order means it is now possible for cannabis patients in Atlanta to apply for jobs as the state terms the previous drug testing process as “outdated.” Cannabis patients who have avoided applying for specific jobs or have ruled out the possibility of working for individual companies because of the restrictions can now confidently apply and get the job if qualified.
The majority of cannabis patients in Atlanta view this development as one that is “long overdue”. Using medical cannabis after office hours is not risky to anyone’s health or safety at the office. Although the executive order solves a broader issue of workplace discrimination in Atlanta, it directly impacts cannabis patients individually.
What if my prospective employer still isn’t satisfied with the suspension? Is it possible to still face some minor forms of discrimination in Atlanta while job hunting despite the executive order? The answer is probably yes. Please remember that just because cannabis is legal in your state doesn’t mean your employer will like it. So what can you do in such a situation. Get your state-authorized cannabis card.
If you use cannabis medically, please learn about getting a certified cannabis card in your state. With your cannabis card, your employer will have no other choice but to back off because the card implies that you are qualified to use medical cannabis for health reasons. Please note that medical cannabis is only legal in its CBD form in Atlanta (THC has not being legalized yet).
Studies have shown that cannabis use does not contribute to workplace injury. As long as employees do not show up “high” at work, it has no negative impact on employment status. With this suspension, workers in Atlanta who use CBD can manage it safely with their medical conditions without disclosing private information on their health status if they don’t want to share.
Discrimination of every kind should never be allowed to thrive in our society. Atlanta’s executive order to suspend pre-employment drug testing is not only great news for cannabis patients; it is a step in the right direction to remove all forms of discrimination in the workplace.
The suspension has also promoted widespread acceptance of cannabis in Atlanta. The importance of government support cannot be emphasized enough, it has proven to be the most effective way to change the stereotypic view of people.
In conclusion, through the suspension of pre-employment drug testing, Atlanta has chosen to protect its cannabis patients from discrimination. If you live in Atlanta and have been struggling with reconciling work and your reliance on medical cannabis, start applying for the jobs you are qualified for because nothing can stop you now!