House Democrats passed a bill legalizing marijuana federally and voted down a Republican amendment that would have protected businesses seeking to test employees or applicants for the drug.
The MORE Act passed the House on Friday, removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act's list of scheduled substances. The legislation would eliminate any federal criminal penalties for possessing, manufacturing, or distributing the drug.
The failed amendment, proposed by Rep. Debbie Lesko (R., Ariz.), would have established that "an employer may test an employee or applicant for cannabis use to ensure workplace and public safety." The amendment would have effectively allowed employers to retain the right to test employees or applicants for marijuana use while on the job.
Lesko urged the amendment's adoption during a motion to recommit, the final chance legislators have to amend a bill.