A group of industry associations, medical groups and safety organizations urges the US House of Representatives to hold hearings on potential workplace safety concerns if marijuana is federally decriminalized.
The National Safety Council and 21 other groups sent a letter to the House on Wednesday expressing concern that the 2019 Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, also known as the MORE Act, would adversely affect the health and safety of workers if passed.
The bill, HR 3884, introduced in July 2019 by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, DN.Y., would remove marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act and eliminate criminal penalties for individuals who manufacture, distribute or own marijuana .
In its letter, the group argued that the legalization of marijuana could have a significant impact on transportation and workplace standards as there is as yet no evidence-based standard for detecting deterioration of marijuana in drivers or workers in safety-sensitive positions. The drug is known to impair psychomotor skills and negatively affect attention and decision-making, NSC said in a statement Thursday.
The letter also questioned whether the U.S. Department of Transportation could continue to require drug testing for marijuana for safety-sensitive people. transport positions on marijuana are removed from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.
"Employers have an obligation to maintain safe workplaces, and without a better understanding of the impact on workplace safety, these changes will affect the safety of workers, their employees and the public," said Lorraine M. Martin, President of the National Safety Council, in a statement on Thursday. We urge members of the House to explore the workplace safety effects of the MORE Act. This includes developing an evidence-based standard for detecting marijuana deterioration.
The MORE Act is currently before the Judiciary Committee.