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Senator Berman, District 26 — Press Release


January 13, 2020

CONTACT: Daniel Delagrange, 850.487.5031

Senator Lori Berman and Representative Tina Polsky File Legislation to Protect Users of Medical Marijuana

Tallahassee —

Senator Lori Berman (D-Delray Beach) and Representative Tina Polsky (D-Boca Raton) have jointly filed legislation, SB 962/HB 595, to protect employees who are licensed users of medical marijuana. The legislation would protect licensed medical marijuana users from discrimination by their employer, unless their marijuana use adversely affects their job performance. An employer must provide written notice within five days of a positive drug test result so that the employee can provide an explanation for the result.

“Right now, there is no guidance for employers as they deal with this new medical marijuana system. This legislation would provide crucial guidelines for employers and protect employees from being discriminated against for their legal use of marijuana,” said Representative Polsky.

Exceptions in the bill have been carved out for “safety-sensitive employees,” or employees where the employee’s tasks could affect the safety and health of the employees performing the tasks.

“We must guarantee that medical marijuana users are not discriminated against for their legal and rightful use of this treatment,” said Polsky. “Regular working people deserve these important protections.”

“When the Florida Legislature implemented the medical marijuana amendment, we left unaddressed workplace protections for patients. Employers are still able to enforce a zero-tolerance, drug-free workplace and are not required to make reasonable accommodations for employees who use medical marijuana, now a constitutionally-sanctioned right,” said Senator Berman. “We must do our part to ensure that their use of safe and effective medicine will not impede their right to work.”