The Kansas City Council on Thursday approved an end to pre-employment screenings for marijuana for most city jobs.
The ordinance was approved by a vote of 11 to 2. Council members Heather Hall, District 1, and Dan Fowler, District 2, voted no.
Exemptions for the ordinance include: police officers, positions that require a commercial driver’s license and jobs involving the supervision of children, medical patients, the disabled and others who are vulnerable.
Employees would still be tested for other drugs. It was intended to make the city consistent with current Kansas City law.
“Opportunities should not be foreclosed unnecessarily,” Mayor Quinton Lucas said on Twitter. “Glad to see passage of our law eliminating pre-employment screening for marijuana at Kansas City government for most positions.
“One step of many in becoming a fairer city.”
Opportunities should not be foreclosed unnecessarily.
Glad to see passage of our law eliminating pre-employment screening for marijuana at Kansas City government for most positions.
One step of many in becoming a fairer city.
— Mayor Q (@QuintonLucasKC) September 23, 2021
The ordinance prohibits the city from requiring those who want a city job to be screened to detect marijuana.
It comes as attitudes around the decriminalization of marijuana and its use have shifted in recent years. In 2018 voters in Missouri passed an amendment to legalize medical marijuana in the state.
Lucas previously issued pardons for prior marijuana offenses.
And Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker has called on Kansas City police to shift focus from sending her office low-level drug crimes to violent crimes.