New York City is set to ban marijuana testing of many job applicants

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Dried marijuana (DEA)

New York City may soon be the first in the nation to exempt most prospective job applicants from being penalized for marijuana use.

The bill affects both public and private employers in New York City, including companies with headquarters outside city limits.

The City Council passed the legislation by a 40–4 vote.

Marijuana is still illegal in the state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo had hoped to promote legalization in his state budget but that didn't happen.

Now New York City is taking up measures that sidestep the state in an effort to decriminalize and de-stigmatize the issue.

"I will sign that bill, I think that bill is absolutely right," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "They made the right exceptions, too, and I think it's part of how we change our culture to be less punitive and exclusionary."

Once the bill is signed, it will take effect exactly one year later.

A group that represents many business leaders in the city does not support the legislation.

"The business community does not feel that the City Council should be interfering in the relationship between employers and their employees or job candidates," Partnership for New York City CEO Kathryn Wylde said in a statement.

The City Council also passed a bill that would stop the city from requiring marijuana testing for people on probation.