Published Wednesday, June 12, 2019 | 2:22 p.m.
Updated Wednesday, June 12, 2019 | 6 p.m.
Two backers of a pioneering Nevada law to prevent employers from rejecting job-seekers based on a pre-employment marijuana test cast the effort Wednesday as an anti-discrimination measure in a state where recreational pot sales are booming and rules about legal marijuana consumption are evolving.
The law, which goes into effect in January, won’t ban testing job applicants for cannabis chemicals, Democratic Assembly members Dina Neal and Edgar Flores said. But it will prohibit many employers from using the results to turn someone away.
“We needed to ensure we were providing safeguards for marijuana users who are following state law and are trying to get jobs.” Flores said.
Neal said the law does not liberalize marijuana use in the workplace, where employers can and do prohibit drug or alcohol use.
It instead aims to address what Neal called “a moral and social dilemma” caused by the ability to detect trace amounts of marijuana in blood or urine weeks or even months after people ingest pot during off-work hours.
“I don’t condone marijuana use,” Neal said. “But I don’t want unfairness and discrimination. We were saying marijuana dispensaries can sell to people, but then the people couldn’t work. We had to do something.”
The law, signed by Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak a week ago, contains broad exceptions for employers who declare they’re seeking people for safety positions such as