Screening News Update – December 4th, 2014
A weekly blog containing Screening News Updates and Legislative Alerts.
Should VA Doctors be Allowed to Prescribe Medical Marijuana?
Even though medical marijuana is now legal in 23 states, the drug is still off limits to patients being treated through the VA hospital system. That might be changing soon. A new congressional bill could help wounded warriors get the ok to use medical marijuana to help ease post-traumatic stress and depression.
Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-California) have introduced legislation that would allow doctors at the VA to recommend pot for some of their patients. The Veterans Equal Access Act would allow physicians and chronic-pain specialist to complete the paperwork necessary for patients to enroll in their state’s medical marijuana program.
Drug Tests for Lawmakers
As that bill begins its journey through congress, the Ohio Senate is pushing to have all state lawmakers take drug tests. The state is already working on a proposal that would make drug tests mandatory for welfare recipients. State Senator Nina Turner (D-Cleveland) says if you are going to test those who receive the aid, you should also test those who have the biggest impact on state dollars… the elected officials.
The bill would require annual drug testing, as well as random tests, for all senators and representatives. Similar legislation has been presented in the past, but never made it out of committee hearings.
Ban the Box News
As we begin wrapping up this busy year, we have a few new Ban the Box items for you. Legislation that prohibits employers from inquiring about criminal convictions on job applications or during the initial application process is now in effect in the city of Rochester, New York. The new law applies to all city job applicants and any company whose employees work on city contracts. This “initial” period ends when an employer conducts an interview or makes a conditional offer of employment.
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania adopted a similar ordinance that affects county job applicants. It goes into effect on January 1, 2015.
Just a few days ago the City Council in Columbia, Missouri unanimously voted to pass a ban the box policy that applies to both public and private employers.
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