Even though cannabis has been recreationally legal in the Battle Born State for nearly two years and Sin City has become a greenish gold mine of legal cannabis, many problems and societal penalties still arise with the use of it; no social consumption lounges being among the most glaring. Yet unlike the consumption lounges, people’s lives are directly being negatively impacted by laws surrounding pre-employment drug testing and previous cannabis convictions in the Prohibition years.
Assembly Bill 132, a bill still being discussed in the Nevada Legislature, could benefit medical patients across the state from employment discrimination simply because they test positive for cannabis. Whereas a marijuana-positive drug test from an applicant would likely mean more immediate professional rejection than showing up to an interview in a neon bro tank and American flag Chubbies, AB 132 would provide cannabis users with a rebuttal if a pre-employment drug test is failed.
Quoted exactly, the bill authorizes “an employee to rebut the results of a screening test under certain circumstances; creating a presumption that the ability of an employee to perform his or her job and that the safety of other employees is not adversely affected if an employee has certain levels of certain prohibited substances in his or her blood.”
Without exception, The War on Drugs was a bigger critical failure than Fyre Festival could’ve ever dreamed about. Millions now carry harmful convictions for harmless offenses that still haunt their lives and deeply hinder their access to everything from housing, financial assistance and employment opportunities. Even if they aren’t drug-related, a misdemeanor conviction can still have drastic social consequences.
Partially as a legislative apology for the frivolous and unnecessary wrongs of the War on Drugs and partially to boost possible employment opportunities to past “offenders”, Assembly Bill 192 would create a program for anyone with permanent criminal charges to apply for the records of those crimes to be sealed. While this bill certainly applies to the unfortunately large demographic of people who have low-level cannabis charges, AB 192 applies concurrently to other charges that once were illegal in Nevada but have been decriminalized through either prior or current legislation.
Another frank reality of medical cannabis in modern America, apart from the increase of Taco Bell consumption, is the mountains of research behind the number of conditions that the plant treats. PTSD, cachexia and muscle spasms are among the nearly never ending list of conditions that cannabis has been proven to treat in most cases. With Nevada Senate Bill 430, the list of qualifying conditions would be expanded dramatically with specific wordings in the bill to define which condition could legally be treated with medical cannabis. With the broadening power of SB 430, conditions from anxiety and AIDS to cancer and opioid dependency would be considered qualifying conditions by the Silver State, greatly expanding the spectrum of conditions eligible for medical cannabis from the currently extremely restrictive list.
The aforementioned bills could be historic for the constantly debated subject of cannabis patient rights and would have an extremely positive impact for both medical and recreational cannabis users alike and would surely lead to further de-stigmatization and medical cannabis patient reform that is leaps and bounds ahead of states that subscribe to stricter cannabis-related policies.
As there’s still a small window of time in the Nevada Legislature’s 2019 session, now is the appropriate time to contact your respective representative and let your voice be heard. Please visit NORML’s Action Center at https://norml.org/act for information on specific bills.
Follow Josh Kasoff on Twitter and Instagram @CaptainKasoff.