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Despite an increasing acceptance of marijuana use among Americans, policies penalizing federal workers over their off-the-clock marijuana use in states where the plant is legal still exist.
The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is another federal agency urging its employees not to use cannabis, reported Marijuana Moment.
“There have been no changes to the panel of drugs contained in the list of Schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substance Act,” USFS’ human resources division said in a notice posted on Monday.
The agency warned employees that it would conduct random tests on those reasonably suspected of cannabis use. Workers in ‘Test Designated Positions’ will be tested regularly. In addition, repercussions for positive tests include “discipline up to removal for the first finding of illegal drug use.”
The notice warns: “All Forest Service employees must remain drug-free and refrain from illegal drug use whether on or off duty regardless of state laws.”
While employees are not explicitly banned from using hemp-derived CBD – which is legal under the 2018 Farm Bill – USFS warned that those using it “could test positive for illegal drug use.”
“It can be inaccurately labeled as having no to low levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol, and yet actually contain high levels,” the agency said.
The largest government labor union works on policy change
Meanwhile, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) recently accepted a resolution supporting cannabis legalization and urging the removal of policies penalizing federal workers over their off-the-clock marijuana use in states where the plant is legal.
Titled “Resolution to Support Deleting Responsible Off-Duty Marijuana Usage from Suitability Criteria,” the measure notes that there’s an “increasing acceptance of marijuana use in American society, including for medical treatment for veterans of the armed forces and others,” while pointing out that “federal regulations unreasonably cast marijuana usage as a matter of concern for security reasons.”
While some municipal departments like the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) are considering changing their cannabis testing policy, it seems significant changes will occur once and when marijuana becomes federally legal.
Which industries drug test workers the most (and least)?
It’s good to know that transportation and warehousing and the utility sectors both had higher testing rates than the others.
On the other end of the spectrum are accommodation and food services, arts, entertainment and recreation, information, educational services and financial sectors, which all have the lowest testing rates.