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The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday voted 228 to 164, mostly along party lines, to decriminalize marijuana, a drug that has been a concern to those in workers compensation and workplace safety.
Under the Controlled Substance Act, marijuana is classified at the federal level as a Schedule I drug with no medicinal value, similar to cocaine and heroin, but 33 states and Washington D.C. have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes and 11 states and Washington D.C. have legalized its recreational use, too.
The flurry of state marijuana laws has been a concern among those in workplace safety, as employers and state courts continue to grapple with drug testing, drugfree workplace policies and whether federal law preempts marijuana’s legality in states where it is permitted. The workers compensation industry had also struggled to manage medical marijuana, which many experts have said could replace opioids for pain relief. Dosing is also a concern.
Meanwhile, several watchdog groups on Friday said the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act would face strong opposition in the currently Republican-controlled Senate.
A group of industry associations, medical groups and safety organizations are urging the U.S. House of Representatives to hold hearings about potential workplace safety impacts if marijuana is federally decriminalized.