By Anthony Martinelli

A bill to prevent employers from firing or refusing to hiring someone for off-the-job marijuana use has been filed in Oregon.

Senate Bill 301 is similar to a proposal recently filed in Washington State, but would take things a step further by protecting recreational cannabis users, and not just those using it for medical purposes. The measure would override an Oregon Supreme Court decision that says employers have the right to fire and refuse to hire individuals for cannabis use, even if it’s for medical purposes.

“The beauty of this particular (proposed) statute is that it really builds on a little-used statute brought about by the tobacco industry,” says Beth Creighton, a Portland attorney who specializes in representing employees. “It’s definitely an individual rights issue.. The voters in the state of Oregon have decided that marijuana is legal, so you shouldn’t be fired for something that’s legal.”

The bill would prohibit employers from requiring that employees or potential employees “refrain from using a substance that is lawful to use under the laws of this state during nonworking hours.”

The measure allows drug testing only for “bona fide occupational qualification” or to prevent on-the-job impairment.

The full text of Senate Bill 301 can be found by clicking here.

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