Thousands of city employees can now use marijuana off the clock, whether for medicinal or recreational purposes.
What for some workers is a change in policy and for others is a clarification comes courtesy of a new mayoral order from Mayor Muriel Bowser. The order states that city agencies cannot create their own policies with respect to employee cannabis use and, with some key exceptions, marijuana use can neither prevent a person from getting or keeping a government job. It is still against the rules to use marijuana during work hours.
“It’s really a recognition that, as we make cannabis use policies for the District of Columbia and its residents more equitable and fair and just and safe, we want our human resources policy to be reflective of those values,” says Jay Melber, the assistant city administrator of D.C. The idea is to allow as many workers as possible to exercise their right to possess and use cannabis if they so choose. This new policy comes after District employees dealt with confusion and threats that they would lose their jobs over their use of cannabis as medication.
There are still limits. The difference is that now, rather than allowing any agency to have a blanket policy, restrictions on cannabis use among city employees stem from the way workers are categorized.