California’s Terminator Kills Medical Marijuana Employment Rights Bill

Oct 01, 2008

Aaron Smith, AB 2279, drug testing, leno

A staggering $15.2 billion budget deficit in California didn’t stop Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger from sending thousands of state-legal medical marijuana patients into unemployment. Last night, the “Governator” vetoed A.B. 2279, which would have made it illegal for employers to fire or deny employment to state-legal medical marijuana patients for testing positive for marijuana.

A.B. 2279 included provisions that exempted safety-sensitive positions and didn’t force employers to violate federal law. But you wouldn’t know it by listening to the bill’s opponents.

Schwarzenegger’s veto message states that he couldn’t support the bill because “Employment protection was not a goal of the initiative as passed by voters.” Apparently the governor thinks that voters want to force medical marijuana patients into unemployment rather than allow them to work and pay taxes like those who use physician-prescribed Oxycontin do.

California's medical marijuana law still enjoys overwhelming support from voters and it clearly demands that seriously ill patients not be subject to sanction for their use of medical marijuana.

Schwarzenegger, who freely admits his past use of marijuana and says he did it because he “always knew how to enjoy [himself],” just declared that if you use it as part of a physician-approved treatment, you don’t deserve to be employed.