D.C. Secures Workers’ Cannabis Rights, Illinois Updates Discriminatory Cannabis Law, & a 5th Grader Brings Edibles to School

June 10, 2022 08:00 am ET Estimated Read Time: 4 Minutes

D.C. passed a bill that protects workers’ cannabis consumption rights, Illinois updated its discriminatory cannabis criminal justice law, and a 5th grader brought cannabis-infused gummies to school.

Let’s dive into this week’s cannanews.

D.C. Bill Aims to Secure Workers’ Cannabis Consumption Rights

Earlier this week, Washington, D.C.’s city council passed the Cannabis Employment Protections Amendment Act of 2022 (CEPAA). The bill aims to block employers from firing employees who fail their cannabis drug test. The CEPAA would also make it illegal for employers to refuse to hire an individual because of their recreational or medical cannabis use.

The CEPAA is now headed to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s desk for final approval. If Bowser approves the bill, it will be subjected to a 60-day period of congressional review before going into effect. Employers will then have 60 days to inform their employees of the new law—if they qualify for its protections, that is.

Those not covered under the CEPAA include police, security guards, construction workers, those who operate heavy machinery, and others in “safety-sensitive” occupations. Employees of federal government agencies and D.C. courts will also be excluded from the bill’s protections.

Once the bill goes into effect, employees will have the ability to file a complaint if they feel their employer is not following the law as long as it’s within a year of the incident. Those found in violation of the CEPAA will be charged up to $5,000 in fines. However, employers will still hold the right to fire an employee if their cannabis consumption is causing them to underperform at work.

What do you think of D.C.’s new worker protection bill? Do you think it does enough to discourage employers from infringing on their workers’ rights to consumption? Let us know in the comments!

Illinois Governor Updates Discriminatory Cannabis Law

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently made some much-needed changes to the state’s Criminal Identification Act (CIA). The measure previously featured statutes that discriminated against cannabis users attempting to petition for their criminal records to be expunged or sealed. With the state’s recent legalization of recreational cannabis in 2020, Pritzker believed the CIA was due for some updates.

“People deserve second chances, and it is important that we afford this opportunity to those whose circumstances may have led them to crime,” he recently said. Going forward, courts will no longer be able to deny a petition for expungement or sealing simply because the petitioner had a positive cannabis test 30 days before the filing of the petition.

The adjustments to the CIA will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023. Until then, Illinois is looking to further continue helping its residents who are dealing with pre-legalization cannabis convictions. To assist these individuals, Illinois recently established an initiative to them gain access to legal aid and other resources needed to expunge their records.

What do you think of Illinois’ moves to help its residents trying to clear their cannabis convictions? Let us know in the comments!

5th Grader Brings Edibles to Michigan School

Grand River Academy in Livonia, Michigan, has experienced a recent string of substance-related issues with its students. Three weeks ago, a kindergartner was disciplined after they brought margaritas to school. Earlier this week, a 5th grader brought cannabis-infused gummies to school and distributed them to two of their peers.

Krstle Morton, a mother of one of the students who consumed the edibles, reached out to her local news station, FOX 2 Detroit, to share her story. “He was feeling funny. That’s all he kept saying (was that) he felt funny,” Morton told the station. “To know that my child had, has this in his system makes me angry. Devastated.”

The two children who ate the edibles were taken to a local hospital and are now feeling better. Livonia police say they are investigating the situation in hopes of discovering where the gummies originated.

A similar situation occurred in Flint earlier this year. After an investigation, the student’s mother was eventually charged with second-degree child abuse. When asked if that would be an appropriate response to the situation in Livonia, Morton said she believed it would be the right choice. “The parent is number 1 to blame. Somebody is not watching this child. Someone is not paying attention to this child. And I don’t know what’s going on in their household,” she said.

What do you think about the situation? Do you agree with Krste Morton that the child’s parent should be charged with child abuse? Let us know in the comments!

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