In September, Washington D.C. mayor Murial Bowser brought an end to months of anxious waiting on the part of city workers who lawfully consume cannabis. The new mayoral order clarified that the use of cannabis for any reason cannot prevent a person from getting or maintaining a government job. The order also blocked any city agencies from setting their own workplace marijuana policies. But even though most city employees were okayed to consume medical or recreational cannabis off the clock, Mayor Bowser’s order carved out a key exception: workers in “safety-sensitive” positions. Now, some city workers are fighting to overturn the ban. And one worker, Doretha Barber, is suing the city, alleging its workplace drug policies discriminate against medical cannabis patients.
Lawsuit Targets D.C. Ban on Cannabis Use by City Workers
Doretha Barber is a sanitation worker for Washington, D.C.’s Department of Public Works (DPW). For ten years, Barber has helped keep D.C. streets clean, mostly by raking and collecting trash and leaves. It’s a tough gig for Barber, who was born with scoliosis and diagnosed with a serious disease in her spine in 2014. Bending and raking, Barber believes, makes her back condition worse. And recently, the pain, spasms