Good news for croupiers, prostitutes, lion tamers, trapeze artists, and Lady Gaga: you can now toke to your heart’s delight in Nevada and not have to worry about it affecting your employment.
Gov. Steve Sisolak signed AB 132, a bill which prevents almost all employers from making hiring decisions based on whether they pass a cannabis drug test.
The bill doesn’t cover everyone. Jobs where safety and motor control are considered paramount (like police, doctors, constructions workers) still might have to pass a weed test (which might mean that trapeze artists and lion tamers do too).
The other, possibly even more problematic limitation on the bill, is that it doesn’t bind unions to the regulation.
Madisen Sagilibene, executive director of both Nevada NORML and Las Vegas NORML, told Merry Jane that this is a “big problem.”
“The unions employ a lot of people in Las Vegas,” she said. “And they definitely are not included in this legislation.”
The trouble is that, even though the state and some employers don’t mind if employees use cannabis, there’s another force perhaps more powerful than either of them who does: the insurance industry.
According to Merry Jane, “[m]ost insurance companies, especially for larger unions and corporations that operate nationwide, are subject to federal law. With marijuana still illegal at the federal level, unions worry they may lose their insurance plans if they hire cannabis users.”
So we’re back in that old Kafka-esque logic of cannabis in the U.S., where no matter how legal states and municipalities make it, it’s never totally legal until its federally legal. Photo via Flickr user Michael Joshua