The smoke hasn’t yet cleared from the debate surrounding a medical marijuana bill waiting to be re-voted on by the Oregon Senate this week.
The House Committee on State and Federal Affairs amended the original medical marijuana bill, Senate Bill 1085, to include provisions on workplace issues, and agencies like the ACLU are fuming.
“When this bill passed the Senate it represented a carefully crafted compromise. Unfortunately, the House State and Federal Affairs Committee added a divisive amendment pushed by some employers that undermines the fragile balance of the bill,” the ACLU said in a floor statement to members of the House.
“(It) would eliminate possible legal protection for disabled workers who are registered medical marijuana patients.”
SB 1085 was originally passed in the Senate last month and again with House amendments Aug. 2. The bill’s chief backer, Sen. Bill Morrisette (D-Springfield), was unavailable for comment.
The purpose of the bill was to clarify some ambiguities in Oregon’s medical marijuana law. It called for a 24-hour accessible database and clarified size restrictions on marijuana plants and grow-site definitions, amongother provisions.
With the House-added provisions, SB 1085 would, in part, allow employers to fire employees because they have marijuana in their system, even when there is no evidence of on-the-job impairment.
At press time, the bill was expected to be voted on by the Senate Wednesday night or Thursday, if time allowed. If it passes, the bill will head to the governor’s desk for a signature or veto.