Marijuana Laws Would Ban Employers From Firing Medical Users, Loosen Penalties For Growing (LAWeekly.com)
By Dennis Romero on January 25 2011
You, the people, are in favor of laws that make it easier for medical pot users to keep their jobs and that make growing weed a possible misdemeanor.
But the reality of politics in Sacramento often has little to do with your will. Business lobbyists and police organizations are trying to block two such bills in the state legislature.
And time is running out:
SB 129 by California Sen. Mark Leno would override a state Supreme Court decision that allows employers to test for marijuana and fire even state-legal medical users.
AB 1017 by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano would allow busted cannabis cultivators to be eligible for misdemeanor charges instead of the mandatory felonies they often face today.
California NORML says that statewide voters are in favor of both measures: It cites this November poll (PDF) that shows 66 percent of you oppose workplace discrimination against weed users; 58 percent of you want reduced penalties for cultivation.
Both bills appear to be fighting an uphill battle and need transitional approval by Jan. 31 to stay alive. NORML blames lobbyists for business interests and statewide police chiefs.
California NORML director Dale Gieringer:
It's time for the legislature to catch up with public opinion. The laws against marijuana are a last-century government program to support drug cops and criminals.