California May Block Businesses From Punishing Folks Who Smoke Pot Off The Clock

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California could soon become the seventh state to make sure people won’t lose their jobs if they smoke marijuana when they are off the clock.

State lawmakers on Tuesday passed a bill that would stop companies from punishing workers who fail a certain type of drug test that detects not whether a person is high, but whether the person has used marijuana at all in recent days.

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These tests, which rely on urine or hair samples, look for a substance that the body makes when it breaks down THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. But that substance, called metabolites, can remain in a person’s body for weeks after using marijuana, according to the Mayo Clinic, meaning people can fail a drug test even though they are not impaired.

The legislation would prevent workers from being punished from failing these types of drug tests. Companies could still punish employees for failing other types of tests that use saliva and are better at determining if a person is currently high.

The bill now goes to the desk of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has until the end of September to decide whether to sign it into law. It

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