US House Committee Passes Bill to Prevent Denial of Federal Employment Or Security Clearances Over Marijuana Use

The House Oversight and Accountability Committee has given approval to the Cannabis Users’ Restoration of Eligibility (CURE) Act (H.R. 5040).

The Committee passed the bill in a 30 to 14 vote. The measure was sponsored by Representatives Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Nancy Mace (R-SC) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).

The proposed law explicitly prevents federal employment and security clearances from being denied over someone’s admission that they are a previous marijuana user. Initially the measure would have also applied to current use, but an amendment from Chairman James Comer altered the proposal to apply only to past use.

“[T]he basic issue is that the majority of states have now decriminalized or legalized or endorsed the medical use of marijuana, but federal agencies are still disqualifying people from federal government employment or denying them security clearance simply for honestly answering that they’ve used marijuana in the past”, said Representative Raskin.

Raskin says that “thousands of our constituents every year are being denied federal security clearance or losing the chance of obtaining federal employment solely because they admit honestly to having used marijuana in the past, even if and when it was completely lawful for them to do that. Our constituents should never be denied the opportunity to serve our country simply because they’ve once used marijuana, as at least half of Americans report they’ve done.”

You can find the full text of H.R. 5040 by clicking here.

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