Rep. Crist Introduces Drug Testing Reform Bill
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Rep. Crist Introduces Drug Testing Reform Bill

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Florida Democrat Charlie Crist is introduced a proposal last week that would “remove limitations on federal employment for an individual legally using marijuana under the law of the state in which the individual resides, and for other purposes.”

 

Medicinal marijuana has been on the forefront of Florida politics as Governor Ron DeSantis has endorsed the idea of having the Florida legislature respond to the voters’ will, explaining in a January press conference that whether patients “have to smoke it or not, who am I to judge that? I want people to be able to have their suffering relieved.”

 

In introducing the “Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws” last Tuesday, the bill has gained a bipartisan cosponsorship from Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz.

 

Speaking on the legislation, Crist explained that “for our veterans’, cannabis has been shown to address chronic pain and PTSD, often replacing addictive and harmful opioids.” Crist also added that “the federal government is the largest employer of our veterans’ community. This conflict between medical care and maintaining employment needs to be resolved.”

 

The Florida Democrat also noted that “for federal employees complying with state cannabis law, they shouldn’t have to choose between a proven treatment and their job.”

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Crists’ office further explained that the legislation “prohibits marijuana metabolite testing from being used as the sole factor to deny or terminate federal employment for civilian positions at executive branch agencies if the individual is in compliance with the marijuana laws in their state of residence.” Moreover, “the bill only extends to an individual’s past, private use of cannabis, and does not prohibit probably cause testing if an individual is believed to be impaired at work. The bill does not apply to individuals occupying or seeking a position requiring a top-secret clearance.”

 

There is currently no counterpart in the U.S. Senate, and the bill has been sent to the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee.

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Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina was the Opinion Editor of his high school’s newspaper, and he was also Editor-in-Chief of Miami Dade College’s Urbana literary and arts magazine wherein he also won the 2013 FCSAA Best Fiction Story in the State of Florida Award. He’s currently pursuing his Bachelor’s in English Literature. Hobbies in his free time include reading, writing and watching films and basketball.