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Massachusetts Bill Would Protect Mass. Workers From Being Fired For Private Marijuana Use

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If you show up to work high, you can get fired. If you do it in your private time like alcohol, you can't.



It’s legal for adults 21 years and older to smoke marijuana in Massachusetts. It’s also legal for employers to fire workers for testing positive for pot use — even though they aren’t impaired at work.



If the new measure is enacted, pot would be treated more like alcohol: Employers would still be permitted to dump workers who show up high but could no longer police their private, legal consumption of the drug. An exception would allow companies that contract with the federal government to continue drug-testing and firing workers who consume marijuana if failing to do so would jeopardize their business.

“This is not intended to be a blanket protection for people to use cannabis whenever and wherever they like,” said Lewis, a Winchester Democrat. “But as long as they’re not impaired and it’s not impacting their work, employers should not be able to discriminate against them in hiring or promotion, and companies certainly should not be terminating people simply because they legally use marijuana on their own time."


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