Ever since cannabis was made legal in Washington State in late 2012, there were still a lot of things up in the air on what that means for people living in Washington on how to go about it for themselves. Where could you buy it? Where you can legally partake? What happens if you get caught with it at work or something of that nature?

Though a lot of these questions have been answered in the last 10 years, there was still a huge cloud over your place of employment where, though it's legal, can you still get fired for having it show up on a drug test? Something you can legally get in any store, just like alcohol or Sudafed, but because you like to chill at home and maybe take something because of your anxiety or whatever your own reasons are, it's frowned upon and may have you receive a pink slip the next day. It never sounded right to me but I'm not on that side of the conversation.

Starting in 2024, your job is now protected with a new act coming into play that was already passed and approved.


Senate Bill 5123 has your back on a few of these topics.

Effective January 1, 2024, Washington employers will be prohibited from discriminating in initial hiring decisions based on job applicants’ lawful, off-the-job use of cannabis or test results indicating the presence of nonpsychoactive cannabis.
An employer may base initial hiring decisions on scientifically valid drug screening conducted through methods that do not screen for nonpsychoactive cannabis metabolites.
The law does not preempt state or federal laws requiring an applicant to be tested for controlled substances, and it does not apply to applicants seeking positions requiring a federal background investigation or security clearance, certain public safety positions, or certain safety-sensitive positions previously identified by the employer.

Of these, the primary one most are excited for is they can't discriminate in the hiring decision on cannabis use on your own time (off the clock) or even if it shows up in a drug test. This only counts for nonpsychoactive cannabis, naturally. Both if they already know or it shows up on a drug test. Employers can still drug test you, but if nonpsychoactive cannabis shows up, it won't count against you.

Bulat Silvia
Bulat Silvia

There are a few job positions this won't work for, however. A few of those being law enforcement, fire, first-responders, and a few others.

Get more details from ogletree.com.

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