A bipartisan measure has been introduced in the House that would block Federal agencies from denying a potential government employee with current or past marijuana use from obtaining employment with the Federal government.
The Cannabis Users Restoration of Eligibility (CURE) Act was introduced on July 27 by Reps. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., and Nancy Mace, R-S.C., and aims to prevent marijuana use from being the main attribute to deny qualified candidates from working in the Federal government.
“Every year, qualified and dedicated individuals seeking to serve our country are unable to secure Federal jobs and security clearances because the Federal government has not caught up with the widely established legal use of medical and recreational cannabis,” Rep. Raskin said in a statement.
“I am proud to partner with my friend Representative Mace to introduce the bipartisan CURE Act that will eliminate the draconian, failed, and obsolete marijuana policies that prevent talented individuals from becoming honorable public servants in their own government,” he added.
The legislation would cover individuals who are currently using marijuana, or have in the past, and would establish a review process for all people denied employment with the Federal government due to marijuana use dating back to 2008.
The bill comes as a multitude of over 38 states, territories, and localities allow medical marijuana use, while 23 states allow for the recreational use of marijuana.
“Millions of patriotic, conscientious Americans use cannabis legally each year, but they are consistently penalized by outdated Federal regulations,” said Ed Conklin, executive director of the US Cannabis Council. “We strongly support the CURE Act because it will bring Federal employment policies into line with the views of most Americans. Cannabis use should never prevent a qualified candidate from serving his or her country as a Federal employee.”
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM), in 2021, released guidance that outlined that marijuana use should not be the primary indicator of a candidate’s eligibility while still maintaining that the substance is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act that requires that Federal employees do not partake in the use of illegal substances.
Currently, no companion legislation exists.