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BILL INTRODUCED TO PROHIBIT EMPLOYERS FROM REQUIRING DRUG TESTS

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By Nick Lindsey

For many people, there has always been a lot of tension between weed and work. Required drug tests are often part of the job application process. Similarly, some employers require their employees to periodically take drug tests. Either way, these tests place serious limitations on a person’s freedom to consume weed on their own time. But now, that could be changing in Wisconsin as the state introduces a bill prohibiting employers from requiring drug tests.

Fixing the Problem of Drug Tests
According to local Wisconsin news sources, Representative David Bowen, a Democrat from Milwaukee, introduced the bill. His proposal would prohibit employers from requiring job applicants and employees to take drug tests that screen for THC.

For Bowen, the root of the problem lies in how long THC stays in a person’s system. Unlike a lot of other substances, cannabinoids tend to remain in your body for a relatively long time.

For example, THC will stay in your blood for one to two days after you consume cannabis. THC also stays in your saliva for one to two days after consuming it. But the timeline gets a lot longer when you’re looking at a urine drug test.

Depending on how much weed you consume and how frequently you consume it, a urine test can pick up on THC for anywhere from five to 65 days after you last got high.

All of this means that if you smoke tonight and then are forced to take a drug test at work next week, you might fail that test—even though you never smoked at work, or were in any way impaired at work because of weed.

“Consuming THC weeks or months out from a job interview should not disqualify someone from finding employment any more than someone who drank a few beers on another date should be kept out of work,” said Rep. Bowen.

He also said that the situation gets trickier in the age of legalization. For example, what if a person who lives in Wisconsin travels to a weed-legal state for vacation and consumes weed during their trip? Bowen said a person should not be penalized days or even weeks after legally consuming weed.

Final Hit: State Introduces Bill Prohibiting Employers From Requiring Drug Tests
Rep. Bowen’s new proposal could be a big change for Wisconsin. The state hasn’t seen a lot of changes on the cannabis law front. Last year, Wisconsin legalized CBD extract for certain patients. But that’s it. No real medical marijuana program, and definitely no legal recreational weed.

Interestingly, cities throughout the state are not waiting around. Some places, most notably Madison and Stevens Point, are taking matters into their own hands and decriminalizing or even legalizing possession within their borders.

Rep. Bowen’s proposal obviously wouldn’t legalize weed in any way. But it would make the state a bit less punitive.

“While I am in favor of the safe legalization and regulation of marijuana for both recreational and medicinal use, until that happens, people should not be stigmatized for using a substance whose effect on society is less negative than society’s reaction to it,” Bowen said.

Original Publication in HighTimes.