Members of the Kansas City, Missouri city council approved a local ordinance that will prevent pre-employment marijuana testing for most prospective government employees.
Ordinance No. 210627, which was approved with an 11 to 1 vote, says, “It shall be unlawful for the City of Kansas City to require a prospective employee to submit to testing for the presence of marijuana in the prospective employee’s system as a condition of employment.”
Kansas City Mayor Quentin Lucas, who sponsored the measure, said, “Opportunities should not be foreclosed unnecessarily. Glad to see passage of our law eliminating pre-employment screening for marijuana at Kansas City government for most positions. One step of many in becoming a fairer city.”
Certain government positions would be excluded from the protections under this law, such as law enforcement; positions requiring a commercial drivers license; those caring for children, medical patients, disabled or other vulnerable individuals; and positions “where the employee could significantly impact the health or safety of other employees or members of the public.”
Members of the council approved a municipal ordinance last year repealing all local penalties specific to activities involving the personal possession of marijuana. The Kansas City Mayor’s Office has also launched an online system to facilitate the process of pardoning those with low-level marijuana convictions.
Kansas City’s measure is similar to other municipal laws that have recently been enacted in several other cities, including Philadelphia, Atlanta, New York, and Washington, DC, limiting employers’ abilities to drug test certain employees for off-the-job marijuana exposure.