Nevada Expands Protections for Marijuana Users

by Suzanne Potter, Nevada News Service

Carson City – Gov. Steve Sisolak recently signed a trio of bills that make life easier on marijuana users now that the drug is legal for adults to possess.

Listen to an audio report from Suzanne Potter.


Assembly Bill 132 forbids employers from discriminating against job applicants if cannabis shows up on a pre-employment drug test. THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, can be detected for weeks after someone uses it, so it is not a good indicator of whether someone will be under the influence on the job.

Chris Lindsey, senior legislative counsel with the Marijuana Policy Project, said it’s unfair to punish someone for using a legal substance.

“It’s great news for Nevadans who aren’t going to be excluded from the workplace because they are consumers on their own time,” Lindsey said.

A second new law, Senate Bill 430, adds forms of autism, anxiety and chronic pain to the list of conditions that qualify someone for a medical marijuana card. Previously, for example, only severe pain qualified, but not persistent, chronic pain.

Opponents of the bills argue that they encourage drug use.

A third bill, AB 192, allows those with certain prior marijuana convictions to have their records sealed, so they won’t show up if a prospective landlord, employer or school searches a person’s record. Lindsey said no one should be denied housing, a job or an education for doing something that now would be considered legal.

“And so it’s important, as we move away the days of prohibition and into one where we have a regulatory system, that we help these people get rid of the burden that can hold them back,” he said.

The law would not expunge convictions, meaning they would still be on a person’s record and could be viewed by a judge or law enforcement.


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