Amendment Filed in US Congress to Block Federal Agencies from Testing Applicants for Marijuana

A federal amendment filed in the United States Congress would prohibit most federal agencies from testing job applicants for marijuana.

Filed by Representative Robert Garcia, a Democrat from California, the amendment was filed as part of a larger spending bill and is cosponsored by Representatives Daniel Goldman (New York) and Earl Blumenauer (Oregon). The latter is the co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus.

Specifically the amendment would bar most federal agencies from conducting a drug test for THC on those seeking employment. Agencies would still be allowed to test those already employed with the agency if they have reasonable suspicion to believe marijuana is being used on-the-job, and the amendment would not apply to certain positions like those involving the carrying of a firearm.

The amendment is similar to an amendment Garcia filed recently in a spending bill for Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies.

The amendment comes as the Department of Health is requesting that marijuana be moved from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act to Schedule III, a move that would legalize the plant for prescription use. The letter comes in response to an executive order issued last year by President Biden asking Health Secretary Xavier Becerra and Attorney General Merrick Garland to initiate a review process to consider marijuana rescheduling.

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