Governor Signs Cannabis User Protection Bills

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a handful of bills last week aimed at protecting cannabis users from discrimination in health care and social services.

Under AB 2595 (Jones-Sawyer), social workers investigating child welfare cases are directed to handle marijuana use the same way they handle parental use of alcohol. That means cannabis use by itself “should not be a basis for state intervention into family life” and “parents and guardians should be allowed to safely and legally use cannabis without fear of having their children permanently removed from their care,” said Jones-Sawyer.

AB 1954 (Quirk) prohibits doctors from denying medication or treatment to registered medical cannabis users based on a positive THC test. In the past, some doctors have refused to prescribe pain medication to marijuana users.

Finally, SB 988 (Hueso) amends the Compassionate Access to Medical Cannabis Act or Ryan’s Law. It repeals a provision that requires health care facilities permitting patient use of medical cannabis to “comply with other drug and medication requirements.”

Lawmakers are still awaiting Newsom’s signature (or veto) on the most significant marijuana user protection bill, AB 2188, which passed on Aug. 30. That bill would protect employees from discrimination for off-site cannabis use.