The Anchorage Assembly on Tuesday will consider an ordinance that will exempt city employees from certain penalties for cannabis use.
“With the changing legal landscape surrounding marijuana in Alaska and the evolving understanding of individual liberty and privacy interests, it is time to reevaluate our drug testing policy. This proposal aims to remove marijuana testing for most municipal employees,” the explanation says on the proposed ordinance. The Assembly wants a “more empathetic and constructive approach that emphasizes healthcare and support over punitive measures.”
Instead of termination, employees who test positive for marijuana will be offered counseling and addiction treatment.
“Historically, our organization has adhered to a strict policy that mandated the termination of employees who tested positive for drugs during workplace screenings. While this approach aimed to maintain a drug-free workplace, it often overlooked the underlying issues contributing to substance use disorders and failed to offer any support or resources to affected individuals,” the proposal reads, as proposed by Assembly Chairman Chris Constant and Assemblyman George Martinez.
The full explanation of the ordinance is at this link. A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for the Tuesday, Oct. 10 regular meeting of the Anchorage Assembly, which begins at 5 pm at the Loussac Library’s ground floor meeting room.