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Governor Orders Exclusion of Marijuana from Public Employee Drug Tests

By on November 25, 2016

In this Nov. 21, 2014, file photo, a former U.S. Marine smokes medical marijuana in Belfast, Maine. A handful of recreational marijuana legalization drives has the medical pot industry bracing for something it never expected to deal with: competition. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, file)

A former U.S. Marine smokes marijuana. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, file)

SAN JUAN – Gov. Alejandro García Padilla has signed an executive order (OE-2016-045) to exclude marijuana from the list of controlled substances that can be included in public employee drug tests.

Public servants that have consumed marijuana cannot be sanctioned by their superiors, even though the substance remains illegal.

The purpose of the executive order is that offices, departments, agencies, public corporations and public entities amend their respective rulings on the Controlled Substance Detection Test program and exclude marijuana as a tested drug.

The order, signed by García Padilla on Nov. 21, also provides that agencies and entities that do not have an instituted drug detection program, exclude cannabis when they establish the pertinent rulings.
The document, available on the State Department’s website,, explains that the order is in lieu of public policy established in executive orders 35 of 2015 and 10 of 2015.

The first one established that the criminal process of people in possession of marijuana for personal use “will be the lowest level of priority in the assignment of resources” by the Justice department. While executive order 10 of 2015 established the basis to authorize the use of medicinal cannabis and its derivatives.

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