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Social Media, Marijuana, And Homeless Bills Pass CA Legislature

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Sacramento, CA — The California legislative session comes to a close late this evening, and some high-profile bills are passing through both houses of the legislature.

Two are aimed at regulating social media companies. The first would require companies like Facebook and Snapchat to make public all of their policies for removing disturbing content, and explain how it is removed. The second would require social media companies that provide services aimed at youth to follow age-appropriate principles designed to keep children safe. That includes not using a child’s personal information, or profiling a child, in a way that could harm the youth’s physical or mental health. The bills are opposed by associations representing social media companies.

A proposed bill would make California the seventh state to prohibit people from losing their jobs for smoking marijuana outside of work. Specifically, it would prohibit companies from punishing those who fail a certain type of drug test. Proponents cite that it is possible to test positive for marijuana weeks after using it. Companies would still be able to discipline employees who show up to work impaired.

A contentious proposal backed by Governor Gavin Newsom also passed that will help steer homeless residents with severe mental health disorders to treatment centers. It will allow family members, and others, to petition a newly formed civil court to evaluate a person for a potential treatment plan. It faced some opposition from civil liberties advocates, arguing it will unfairly force some unsheltered residents into treatment. Critics also questioned whether there are enough beds and therapists available for the program to work.

The legislative session ends at midnight.