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Florida Democrats File Medical Marijuana Employee Protection Bill

Drug test blank form with Variety of medicines
Drug test blank form with Variety of medicines

The legislation would prevent public employers from firing, demoting or suspending someone with a medical marijuana card who tests positive.

While medical marijuana is legal in Florida, it can still cause a public employee to be fired. South Florida Democrats Sen. Tina Polsky and Rep. Nicholas Duran, are trying to change that.

Boca Raton Democratic Sen. Tina Polsky says that when the state approved medical marijuana, lawmakers left a loophole.

"So you’re allowed to use medical marijuana if you have a proper license, but if you get drug tested at work having nothing to do with your performance you can be fired for using a legal substance," said Polsky.

Polsky has a bill that would prevent public employers from firing, demoting or suspending someone who tests positive. Miami Rep. Nicholas Duran says a person would have to produce their medical marijuana card as an explanation for the positive result.

"In the event someone takes a drug test and they test positive for marijuana they should be able to sort of explain and show that they are registered," said Duran. "That they are using medical marijuana and that’s the reason why their drug test came back positive for it"

The measure would still allow public employers to fire a person who uses medical marijuana on the job, or whose performance suffers as a result of their use.

Polsky filed a similar bill last year for private employees. It didn’t get a hearing.

Copyright 2021 WFSU.

Blaise Gainey is a Multimedia Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.