Connect with us


Washington State Governor Signs Bill To Protect Job Applicants From Anti-Marijuana Discrimination



The governor of Washington State has signed a bill into law that will protect workers  from facing employment discrimination  during the hiring process over their lawful use of marijuana.

At a signing ceremony on Tuesday, Gov. Jay Inslee (D) gave final approval to the legislation from Sen. Karen Keiser (D), enacting the bill into law about three weeks after it cleared the legislature.

The reform is limited to job applicants. As Inslee noted before signing the measure, employers would still be able to maintain drug-free workplaces, or prohibit the use of cannabis by workers after they are hired.

SB 5123 “seeks to protect applicants from hiring discrimination if they use legal cannabis outside of work,” the governor explained, adding that “there are exceptions” for certain industries.

Watch the governor sign the cannabis bill, around 28:20 into the video below:

For example, people can still be denied jobs over marijuana in the airline and aerospace industries. And the bill doesn’t provide protections for safety sensitive positions or those that require federal background checks or security clearance.

The measure was amended several times throughout the legislative process. For example, it was revised to carve out protection exceptions for law enforcement, firefighters, first responders and correctional officers.

Washington is now joining Nevada in prohibiting discrimination against job applicants for testing positive for marijuana. Several other states, such California and New York, provide broader employment protections for adults who legally use cannabis during off-hours and away from work.

Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,000 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

Inslee has received numerous drug policy reform bills this session. That includes legislation that he signed last week authorizing interstate marijuana commerce, pending a federal policy change.

He also acted on a bill on Tuesday to promote research into psilocybin and create a pilot program to provide therapeutic access to the psychedelic for mental health treatment. He signed it, with a partial veto of sections that he said “no longer align with the bill’s intent.”

Last week, the governor also announced a special legislative session for lawmakers to prevent a drug decriminalization policy from taking effect following a state Supreme Court action.

New Hampshire Senators Reject House-Passed Marijuana Legalization Bills In Committee, But Floor Votes Still Planned

Photo courtesy of Martin Alonso.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
Become a patron at Patreon!

Marijuana News In Your Inbox

Get our daily newsletter.

Support Marijuana Moment

Marijuana News In Your Inbox


Get our daily newsletter.