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Marijuana May be the Big Issue in Pre-Employment Background Screening in 2021; Opines CriminalBackgroundRecords.com


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January 21, 2021 Return to News & Events

Marijuana May be the Big Issue in Pre-Employment Background Screening in 2021; Opines CriminalBackgroundRecords.com

Marijuana criminality remains a hot topic especially since Congress took up the matter of de-scheduling the drug as Schedule 1narcotic, a level of criminality that is shared with methamphetamine and heroin. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com, suggests: “With Congress looking at de-scheduling marijuana, combined with additional states voting to legalize recreational marijuana, the use of the drug and hiring will surely continue to be hot button items for HR Departments and hiring managers.

In 2020 the outgoing 116th Congress took up the issue of de-scheduling marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug in the House of Representatives and with the change in leadership the topic will most certainly return to the agenda of the 117th Congress. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com states: “With control of Congress in different hands the conversation about de-scheduling marijuana should force all hiring managers and HR Departments to immediately plan for such a change, and a best practice remains to work with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment agency, such as CriminalBackgroundRecords.com, in order to remain compliant with existing and potential law.”

Across the country voters are approving new legislation allowing for the lawful use of recreational marijuana. Often times steps are taken, at the state level, to expunge previous marijuana-related convictions.

Starting on January 1, 2021 Illinois will expunge previous marijuana convictions.

From the Chicago Tribune on January 5, 2021:

The first set of cases, dating from Jan. 1, 2013 to June 25, 2019, were to be expunged by Jan. 1. Cases dating from 2000 through 2012 must be expunged by Jan. 1, 2023. Offenses before 2000 must be expunged by the start of 2025, under the state law. In all, Will County has more than 11,000 cases eligible for automatic expungement under state law, Glasgow said.

Wiping records clear of a low-level drug offense can help open doors for jobs and other opportunities, attorneys said. (1)

Almeida states: “A federal level change would greatly reduce the potential of confusion with the use of criminal history reports.”

There are predictions that the new Congress will take up the issue of de-scheduling marijuana.

From Marijuana Moment on January 6, 2021:

The Senate will vote to pass a bill to federally legalize marijuana within the next two years.

That’s according to the top Democratic lawmaker who is expected to be installed as majority leader following his party’s projected clean sweep in this week’s two Georgia runoff elections that will give them control of the chamber.

Coupled with Joe Biden’s presidential win, the new situation on Capitol Hill means that federal cannabis policy change is in the cards for the 117th Congress. While the former vice president has declined to embrace adult-use legalization, he’s pledged to adopt modest reforms such as marijuana decriminalization and expunging past records. (2)

Almeida concludes: “This year will be another year of change. With the potential of marijuana decriminalization combined with expungements Hiring Managers and/or HR Departments should work closely with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment screening agency, such as CriminalBackgroundRecords.com, in order to remain compliant with existing and potential laws governing background screening.”

CriminalBackgroundRecords.com is a third-party employment screening company, an advocate of SHRM, a member in good standing with the PBSA (Professional Background Screening Association) and for over 17 years has maintained an A+ Rating with the BBB (Better Business Bureau). The company has highly trained operators well versed in the needs and requirements of companies and organizations large and small utilizing public records, such as criminal background records, as part of a hiring process. Assisting companies in maintaining full compliance under the law is a central tenet of all client relationships with CriminalBackgroundRecords.com.

Notes:

(1) chicagotribune.com/marijuana/ct-sta-will-county-marijuana-expungement-st-0106-20210105-hb5lpyotfbfp7nrhcppgzmrkc4-story.html

(2) marijuanamoment.net/what-the-new-democratic-controlled-senate-means-for-federal-marijuana-legalization-in-2021/

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