The New York City Council passed a bill on Tuesday that would ban companies in the city from requiring prospective employees to submit to drug screenings for cannabis. The measure is an attempt by the council to reduce the consequences of using marijuana.
Last month, the council passed a resolution calling on the state government to move ahead with the legalization of cannabis. Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, the sponsor of the bill passed on Tuesday, said that as that happens the government should work to make it easier for people to find jobs.
“We need to be creating more access points for employment, not less,” said Williams. “And as we move toward legalization, it makes absolutely no sense that we’re keeping people from finding jobs or advancing their careers because of marijuana use.”
Many occupations are excluded from the bill, leaving employers for those positions free to continue cannabis screening tests for applicants. Jobs related to security or which under city regulations have a significant impact on health and safety or positions connected to state or federal government contracts are excluded from the bill. Other exceptions include hiring for police officers, commercial drivers, and those who provide care for children, medical patients,