Despite the growing legalization of marijuana across the nation, many employers still require testing for marijuana before employment.
To remove another barrier for those seeking employment, Mayor Quinton Lucas introduced an ordinance that would prevent the city from conducting pre-employment drug testing for marijuana.
“Kansas City government should not freeze qualified individuals out from government jobs due to marijuana usage, especially with medicinal marijuana legalized in Missouri and recreational marijuana legalized in surrounding states,” Lucas said.
In 2018, Missourians voted to amend the State Constitution to permit the use of medical marijuana and its regulated growth.
“Working to eliminate pre-employment marijuana testing from the City application process is one of several common-sense steps I’m proud my administration has taken to build an inclusive city workforce and ensure employment opportunities exist for more Kansas Citians—particularly for hourly workers who disproportionally come from Kansas City’s Black or Brown communities,” Lucas said.
The ordinance would only apply to city workers and not apply to those seeking work in law enforcement, positions requiring a commercial driver’s license, childcare supervisors, medical workers, or any other positions impacting public health or safety.
This ordinance is part of Lucas’ ongoing effort to remove petty offenses from the Kansas City code and getting the city “out of the business of marijuana enforcement.”
Last year, city council passed Lucas’s ordinance to remove marijuana possession as a violation of city code. He also launched a Marijuana Pardon Program for non-violent, low-level municipal marijuana and paraphernalia offenses.
In 2017, Kansas City voters approved decriminalizing possession of 35 grams or less of marijuana, imposing instead a $25 fine.
If the ordinance passes, it will go into effect in September.