Oregon bill to ban firing employees for off-duty marijuana use dies in Senate
SALEM -- Oregonians who'd hoped for an end to workplace marijuana testing are out of luck. Employers may still require their workers to pass a drug test, after a bill that would have banned the practice hit a dead-end in the state Senate.
Although Senate Bill 301 survived a crucial April 18 deadline for lawmakers to vote it out of committee, backers now acknowledge they lack support to bring it up for a vote in the full Senate.
Leland Berger, a lawyer and longtime cannabis law reform advocate in Portland, said proponents were unable to line up enough votes to guarantee passage in the Senate and without that, Senate President Peter Courtney would not schedule a vote.
Supporters said the bill was necessary to fix a discrepancy: employers can still make passing a cannabis test a condition of employment, two years after the state legalized recreational pot and nearly two decades into Oregon's medical marijuana program.