An ordinance placing a prohibition on pre-employment marijuana drug testing will take effect on January 1st in Philadelphia.
Once the ordinance takes effect, Philadelphia will join Nevada and New York City as areas that have placed an explicit ban on employers requiring applicants to perform a marijuana drug test.
The new law does place an exception for certain employees, such as those working in law enforcement, those who are caretakers (whether for children, medical patients or those with disabilities), and those with a commercial driving license.
“Cannabis is a unique product. Unlike alcohol and others, it metabolizes in your system a lot differently,” says Philadelphia Councilmember Derek Green, who wrote the ordinance. “We’re having this conversation across the commonwealth and in the general assembly about whether we allow adult-use cannabis.”
He continues: “But for me, those who really need medical marijuana, especially to improve their quality of life, shouldn’t be restricted from getting a job because that’s what we all want to see.”
Under the new law, employers can still require a drug test for other drugs, but can’t refuse employment based on an applicant having marijuana in their system.