The Ohio Department of Commerce is looking to hire a marijuana expert, but there’s one catch, they can’t use marijuana themselves.

“Whoever gets the contract will be held to the state’s drug-free workplace policy, which currently doesn’t allow for medical marijuana use,” reports. The expert will be in charge of helping write the rules for the state’s medical marijuana cultivators.

This is just one of many examples where someone who works in the marijuana world must also be removed from it. In Colorado, despite marijuana being legal statewide, companies can still fire employees if they test positive for using the drug. That includes companies involved in the marijuana industry.

One business, the vaporizer company O.penVAPE, decided to amend its drug testing policy in 2014 after cannabis advocates complained that they were punishing people who use marijuana legally on their own time. The person who started that conversation was Tom Angell, founder and chairman of Marijuana Majority.

“No one should be discriminated against or punished for marijuana or other drug use that harms no one else,” Angell told me. “Of course companies have a right to demand that their employees aren’t impaired at work, but drug testing regularly punishes people for things they do on their own time and which have no impact on job performance. Any marijuana company making money off our success needs to know that if it violates these fundamentals of our movement, it will be called out and possibly boycotted.”

It has been shown that drug testing does not improve productivity or workplace safety, and the fact companies that make money selling marijuana can punish people for using it is absolutely absurd. You can easily go home after work and down a bottle of whiskey without your employer giving a damn, but often times the same luxury is not afforded to those who go home and smoke a joint.

Luckily, the amount of companies that drug test is decreasing, especially companies that are looking for marijuana users, but it’s still an issue that needs to be addressed. One of the major reasons drug testing is still prevalent is that the companies that sell drug tests put a lot of effort into marketing their tests and making it seem like drug testing is a responsible thing to do. However, it’s actually a huge waste of money, and it infringes on the rights of employees.

[Photo by eggrole/Flickr]

About The Author

Thor Benson is a traveling writer currently based in Los Angeles. His writing has been featured in Vice, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast and elsewhere. He can be found in a run-down whiskey bar. Follow him on Twitter at: @thor_benson.

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