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Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

Posted November 26, 2010 7:33 AM

Here's a conundrum for you: how do you manage an employee that has a medical condition that allows for the legal use of marijuana? Do you allow that person to continue to work on the plant floor or do you have to find him or her a desk job? Plant Services presents a fictional case study that highlights some of the concerns and challenges, including right to privacy, safety, and discrimination. There are many workers who must deal with side effects from necessary pharmaceuticals, but when do those effects determine the type of job someone does?

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#1

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/26/2010 10:34 PM

Alcohol, marijuana, heroin are intoxicants.

If the workplace will not tolerate alcohol, how can it tolerate other intoxicants.

The degree of intoxication has given rise to maximum levels of alcohol allowed for certain tasks. Is there a similar one for THC?

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#7
In reply to #1

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 6:51 AM

You just forgot the purpose.... Medical.

If someone needs Heroin he is in such a shape that usually he can not perform any task any how. And where is there a "Medicinal drinking"?

Legally speaking, you can't avoid people from taking his/her medicines. Your only choice is to force them to not come to work if their medicines will effect their performance/safety.

But the real problem is not the patient, but the people around him. (as always).

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#18
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 4:03 PM

Anybody who is in an unsafe condition, whether from prescribed drugs or not MUST NOT be allowed to work in dangerous conditions. You loose any rights to work when you become a danger for yourself and others!

The problem is to decide what level of intoxication or recklessness or stupidity causes a danger. We should apply the same requirements of skill and dexterity for everybody. If one of my electrician comes to work with a reckless attitude or cannot stand up properly, I will prevent him from getting close to any ladder or electrical panel. He is going to cut length of wire until he is better. If he doesn't improve, he will have to come up with a doctor note explaining why he cannot perform his work or get forced vacations until he solve his problem.

I will tolerate a lot if you can do the job safely but are sick and cannot work as fast. I won't tolerate it if you caused your inability by intoxicating yourself without a valid reason.

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#19
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 4:36 PM

There are cold and flu over the counter 'medications' that make people damn dangerous, so I'm not sure the taking of any substance is the issue, but the scale and type of effect.

So what system do you put in place to assess that? that isn't at the same time shifting 'responsibility' to a person who may be totally unaware, with out taking a blood or urine sample, that someone has popped "extra Codral", and shouldn't be sent to work on a roof?

"Rules" can be just as big a pitfall.

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#24
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 7:04 PM

This is why the supervisors must be supported by the community and the law when they put their neck on the line to protect an individual against himself. Presently, if you do anything you need to call your lawyer and document everything in case the incapacitated party decides to press charge. You quickly becomes the vilain...

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#2

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/26/2010 10:38 PM

If someone is high on medicinal marijuana and they pose a risk to the safety of those around them, then this is clearly not a case of discrimination. If they could perform the job isolated from others, then they still pose a risk to themselves, which is also not discrimination. Hence, a desk job may be the only thing you can do.

Let's take an example of instead of working on a plant floor where other lives were in danger, what if this person drove a school bus? Can you honestly argue discrimination? And if you can what is the distinction between the two, legally speaking?

Even if some people could pull it off, it's not responsible to assume everyone can, and let's face it, accidents happen, even in the best of circumstances, which doesn't include smoking weed.

Sorry I am too baked to articulate my thoughts coherently , frankly I don't even know where to begin.

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#3

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/26/2010 11:47 PM

I'm sure that Al was employed at will, most everyone is these days, so Acme can do what ever they please.

Considering Al had disclosed his prescription, before the drug test HR dropped the ball & cost Acme money by letting Al go through initial training & working at all. If Al's prescription was specific as to the dosage, you would think there would be a way to determine what level of THC in Al's blood would be considered therapeutic

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#11
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 2:13 PM

I'm sure that Al was employed at will, most everyone is these days, so Acme can do what ever they please.

Not totally...Age is protected and so are the handicapped. This is an area that may have to be proved that Al is handicapped and the ACME let him go because of that.

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#12
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 2:25 PM

Sure that is the way the law is written

truth is they don't need a reason, when you work at will,

even if Al were to sue, he only worked for them for 2 weeks [probably still within the probationary period] so the damages would be minimal.

Further Al would have the burden of proof, which acme isn't likely to give him access to, there would be no records

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#13
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 2:37 PM

truth is they don't need a reason, when you work at will,

That is wrong and dangerous to think that, sure when its a right to work or work at will. you can leave them go at a drop of a hat with no explanation.

When age has anything to do with it or if Al is considered to be ...handicap, and you let Al go because of that......there will too many attorney's salivating and it would be extremely hard to find one to represent you......unless of course you have a huge savings account, the attorneys can tap into.

Further Al would have the burden of proof, which acme isn't likely to give him access to, there would be no records

not always true, because there are government agencies that will defend Al, and at times its the company that has to prove legitimacy of letting Al go.

And of course there is the ACLU.

take another swat at that hornets nest

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#14
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 3:04 PM

In reality Acme would fire Al & rework the job description, to require a degree or otherwise disqualify Al

You make it sound like work at will is to protect workers rights, which it isn't

about the only thing work at will gets you is unemployment, unless the company can cook up a plausible reason, which Acme would have since weed is illegal under federal law

Al is SOL

getting a prescription for marijuana is a giant red flag, which will make getting a job more difficult

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#15
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 3:29 PM

You make it sound like work at will is to protect workers rights, which it isn't

No work at will or a right to work is that the employer can can let you go without a reason or the employee can leave without a reason.

As far as workers rights, what makes you think they don't have them, because they do, If you have a business the sooner you realize that the better it is for you. And those rights carry teeth, remember if the business is found to illegally letting someone go due to discrimination, and the business is too small to pay for the damages, it gets personal to where the officers or owners of the company are liable. And it will follow you even if the company changes hands or dissolves.

since weed is illegal under federal law

As long as weed is against the law, THAT is another item has nothing to do with the worker rights, remember what I said in an earlier post, IF Al is considered to be handicapped Al has rights. As strange as it is, laws can have a tendency of contradicting each other and each agency especially the lower regional or state will try its best to side step it, but they will not ignore it...if the ACLU gets involved they would let them.

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#16
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 3:49 PM

One of my favorite groups to hate - the ACLU.

The hypothetical case was written up to be vague and controversial.

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#17
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 3:55 PM

The hypothetical case was written up to be vague and controversial.

The author of this case proclaims...."My work here is done"

But it is something that will be tried, and ditto with the ACLU.

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#21
In reply to #15

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 6:28 PM

I saw an example

A warehouse worker had an accident [ fell down & sprained his wrist] that was bad enough he required medical care, which triggered a mandatory drug test, which came up positive for marijuana. Complicating matters the employee produced a prescription during the next day or so. The employee was discharged, he fought, the best he could do was having his discharge with cause, reduced to discharge without cause, qualifying him for immediate unemployment benefits

I saw numerous cases where a worker was injured & the recuperation time was over 6months, discharged without cause. It was cheaper to pay a workmans comp settlement than to keep the employee on the payroll. This is common practice at most companies in California, nothing personal just business.

In the fictional case the HR person apparently did not follow company policy in approving the hire.

I haven't seen anything in 40 years in the workplace, that would lead me to believe I had many rights that mean much of anything,

Beyond show up on time, get paid

the rest is interpersonal relationships

the company makes the work rules & also gets to interpret them anyway they want, legal or not they hold the cards.

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#23
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 6:58 PM

have you worked in human resources?

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#26
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 7:31 PM

Not for even a minute :D

I don't think I have ever had dealings with a Human Resources person that I felt had my best interests in mind [unless they happen to coincide]

the job description [actual one not the fake public one] of HR to protect the company at all costs

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#4

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 12:40 AM

I can hear it now - the pilot can be overheard telling the copilot - 'Wow, this is some good shyt!'

Anything that affects the safety of the work place and or productivity of the worker is the first concern.

If someone has to have the stuff then they should stay home and get smoked up or drunk as they choose.

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#34
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/28/2010 2:00 PM

Until medical evidence is generally codified we are all blowing smoke for it is obvious some jobs are not compatible with some drugs in the powerrange system of the user.

Alcohol is called the Mother of All Drugs for good reason. Turns out that it is better it is legal, than not. IT IS LEGAL for PILOTS to Drink Alcohol. - They just have to be sober when doing their particular job.

Just because some drugs leave some evidence of use in the blood and urine, does not mean that they are causing any particular intoxication and I look myself to impartial medical opinions as to how long from joint to joystick they would certify as Legal for Pilots regardless of the residue.

In fact there are few of us walking around free of plastics, DDT, Mercury, Lead, arsenic, or residues of birth control estrogens in our bodies and blood. A fall in crime has been linked to reduction in urban life ecosystems of lead...

It is convenient that THC leaves evidence in the body of its use for those who seem overly interested in the private lives of others. The 5th Amendment is thrown out the window at the request of Insurance Companies.

Only reason pot in particular aint legal yet is that it proves the hippies lost, or were co-opted, as is illustrated by the counties in California voted against legalization, where legal or illegal it is the basis for their economic health.

This era of general war in every neighborhood local and global is really underpinned by the War On Drugs. Sure enough being drunk or stoned on the job is not at all compatible with certain jobs, but being drunk or stoned on your own time ought not be a reason to eliminate one from the legal workforce.

There is a joke that illustrates what is a reality about work and drugs and all that: Why do writers drink? -It's something they can do when drunk.

Faulkner was a writer who won the Nobel Prize, and liked airplanes. He started drinking Scotch and water when he got up and went to work. He didn't attempt to become a Commercial Pilot, but succeeded as a writer.

Critique: Post trails off leaving readers unsatisfied. Readers forced to wonder if they have too much lead, mercury, plastics, or birth control pollutants in their blood to be employable by corporations that want robots to do all the work, instead of human beings. There are other flaws in the post that are truncated by the necessity that electronic writings on the wall shimmer and disappear out the brain due to an inherent reality of the medium that is productive of short attention, and cognitive incompatibility with comprehension or retention.

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#35
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/28/2010 2:16 PM

In fact there are few of us walking around free of plastics, DDT, Mercury, Lead, arsenic, or residues of birth control estrogens in our bodies and blood. A fall in crime has been linked to reduction in urban life ecosystems of lead...

What does that have to do with anything? The supposed drop in crime due to the reduction of lead I have not read about but I do not place much faith in such studies. To many assumptions made by researchers to prove their point.

I am 100% against any illegal drug. Dopers don't like the distinction but it is there so live with it until such time as it is changed.

It would be good to see the status of weed changed - just to get it away from the nastier stuff.

The complaint about the 5th amendment - I guess I have more faith in the courts than individual opinions - apparently the courts accepted the testing. Stoned or drunk is acceptable at any job?

Faulkner was working for himself - not a comparison with anything except the sun coming up in the morning.

Russ

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#39
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

12/04/2010 5:12 PM

Has to do with residues of things we were exposed to or ate that may compromise us.

Alcohol is legal.

It was legal before it was illegal and then became legal again.

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#5

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 1:59 AM

I'd much rather have an employee with a medical marijuana prescription than any of the various prescription opiates used and abused by many. In the "case study" here it seems a no-brainer; Al is competent and his prescription in no way endangers himself or fellow employees. The company lost a potentially good employee through ignorance. At some point our culture will overcome the generations of idiotic brain-washing.

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#6

Re: Can Medicinal Cannabis Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 3:42 AM

A poor introduction, a good piece of case law analysis, some fair comments.

My personal experience with medical cannabis over thirty years now, is that it hardly changes a person's personality at all. People in pain are less reliable, have a shorter fuse and attention span. Positing that, side effects of the pain relief that affect work performance are important.

You don't want people with hangovers running heavy equipment, so drug testing should be random and include alcohol and fatigue toxins.

You get my drift. If you're in human resources, or writing employment conditions and standards, you'd be wise to exercise careful judgment. The best employment evaluation is watching the employee do the job, asking co-workers how they feel about safety, et al, and avoiding profiling of any kind.

I've a perfect driving record, including fifty years of motorcycles and scooter; still climbing trees to trim them at 70+, ride a bicycle and watch children. Don't get drowsy, don't drop things, don't have hallucinations or talk crazy. Am a little nicer personally, since I'm not in pain (pain is very distracting and wearing).

I use a Vaporizer, and don't smoke cannabis. No need to poison myself with carbon monoxide and various benzenes and all. I buy a strain bred to relieve pain without distraction. There are eighty described strains on the buyer's sheet: some for recreation, some for depression, some for pain, and various combinations.

Learn what you can, and avoid preconceptions spread by the alcohol and drug companies. Ask a cop the last time he got in a fight with a cannabis user. He'll scratch his head a little. Ask him how long since he fought a drunk. He'll look at his watch.

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#8
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Re: Can Medicinal Cannabis Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 9:26 AM

ga for you - well expressed.

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#9

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 10:54 AM

I've spent a life time hiring part time help for different jobs in electrical construction, and never intended to hire anyone using anything that would inhibit their mental ability to do a good days work for a good days pay. The ones that used the 'weed' would have a very noted, 'I don't care', attitude..The name of the game in any business is production, and any thing that would interfere with this is out of place.

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#10

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 1:53 PM

no person who is under the effect of a medication needs to be anywhere near machines including cars in any situation, while medical marijuana has benefits for chemo and glaucoma it is being over prescribed and never needs to be smoked, in past I had customers who used a tea from the leaf to offset chemo nausea, they were able to eat and it did help them, now we have anti nausea meds to help during this period, however there is sufficient reason to fear the over use of marijauna, people are subject to parianoia and cognitive disorders from use, shizo disorders are increased from early use of marijuana, paranoid schizophrenia and paranoid dilusions are not listed under med pot dispensors articles, we need to better understand the many chemicals that are included with the beneficial ones before we can safely prescribe this herb, smoking it is never a properly prescribed formula as it is like smoking a half pack of cigs per joint,

Mitch
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#20

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 6:16 PM

A key factor to the fictional case of Al that was not explicitly described. Did Al inform HR that he was taking medical marijuana prior to the drug test? Al did offer a copy of his prescription to the clinic prior to testing. One could imply that he did not volunteer the information to HR prior to the results coming back, but by providing a copy of the prescription to the clinic Al was certainly not trying to hide this drug usage. I believe that that is a critical piece of information. Offering a person a job that they cannot hold because of their known medical treatment seems cruel and worthy of the business suffering some financial pain.

I recognize that the nature of Al's work was chosen so that Al could likely tele-commute to work, obviating the worries of risking others in an accident. But what would happen to Al's legal complaint if the IT job that he was denied was out sourced to Bangladesh where marijuana use is legal. (At least I think it is there, lets say that it is legal there for now.) Wouldn't Al have grounds for a wrongful termination suit.

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#22
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 6:57 PM

One could assume that the probation period was longer than 2 weeks

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#25

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 7:26 PM

High Guys

I actually didn't want to go here because there are other subjects being discussed that have similar no out come tendencies. It is not a solid technical subject and would belong in the threads/blogs that deal with similar issues, like legality of abortion or not, or drugs in sport, or how come some people in America have not enough food to eat and why. Social sciences departments phone is busy, the operator is too stoned to answer the phone kind of stuff.

Well, I am here now and want to remind the illustrious company (that's you guys) that there is such a thing like horses for courses. I can imagine, for example, that in some positions, processes the use of THC as a stimulant for certain procedures would enhance ones ability to deal with them, horses for courses.

I would be very strict on people indulging on absentmindedness and fairyland and would come down on them like a ton of bricks but then again I have done that with people that have never touched the stuff. Like in "A Kitchen is not a democracy it is a dictatorship". One would be irresponsible if allowing even a 1% chance of damage could be expected off an operator and not advise him to stop taking drugs at the helm.

If someone slacks on the job or is that high on speed (Fill In Space), that he loses any of his dexterity or concentration and not only threaten his safety but that of others as well.... Ton of bricks Mate and then another!

This should be dealt with on a case to case basis, just like in abortion. Definitely not regarding drugs in sport, there is no excuse for that, at least for me. Well, I know of guys that have had one before any round of golf and then one because they can. At least I think I can improve. If someone walked up to me in the club house and wanting an urine sample, he would have to be wearing a bullet proof vest or at least be a fast runner.

Bottom line for me?

Out law alcohol in the workplace. I can think of no job were it would assist performance. Well, maybe in print shops ( suggestions welcome ) and by the people who have been doing nothing else all their life and can knock down of a bottle of brandy (fill in space) and be as straight as a dye and still do their job.

Horses for courses, Kigh.

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#27

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/27/2010 9:55 PM

This is an HR issue to the core - but IMHO I say it depends on what their function is and the degree that they are effected by the medicine what ever it may be.

Get real, in a "for profit industry" if they are not fit to do their current job then they should be offered a job that they are fit to do while medicated - if one is available - if they don't want to do it or an alternative position (most likely with less pay) is not available not they're gone, it's common sense. We need to find a way to take the gloves off of HR because many are milking the system.

Before you put the boots to me.....this just happened to my wife.... who has been struggling with a medical issue for years that required her to quit her job that she loved (and they loved her) because it severely aggravated her condition to a point that her doctor told her she needed to find a new line of work unless her employer had something else for her to do. Using a military term she was "Unfit for Duty" and it wasn't their fault. She couldn't perform her job function as required so she chose to resign and see what's next. I know everyone isn't as fortunate, she's not the primary bread winner, but think about it in terms of competition, like a team sport, if one of the players breaks their foot then they are off the field, period, otherwise the team not only has to carry their weight but compete with a handicap - less players.

Should one individuals handicap - handicap the whole team?

Are we competing or just going through the motions?

Man this is cold stuff.......

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/28/2010 12:11 AM

in reality many companies don't care about weed come up dirty for coke or opiates or crank it's a problem. the story I told about the guy losing his job, had more to it, he was not the best employee, his attendance was spotty, the drug test might have been ignored in another case or more accurately the mandatory test would have been "forgotten"

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#29

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/28/2010 5:38 AM

Be plain with the guy:

There are plenty of jobs that you can do stoned off your tits.....

And some jobs... Hmmmmm those mistakes and spacing out a bit could be fatal.

Something with low powered fixed machinery like a drill press, safety glasses, hairnet, and a location jig... big basket of parts on one side, empty bin on the other.... Simple, reptitious, not much to go wrong.

Or a steel cutting guillotine with safety guards and a preset depth stop....

Broom and pathways, painting parts with a brush...weeding the garden..

That way he can even be absolutely stoned off his tits and it will be OK...

But he also may legitimately need to take a bit of weed and is only using it in a medical way...

If he is not glassy eyed and going "Ummmm far out man Ummmmm" with a bottle of red eye reduction drops in his top pocket...

He should be OK for almost anything except exceedingly complex and math orientated stuff.

Avoid work where he has to remember if something is turned off or on, when working on it... like fault chasing inside a TV... but if he is showing signs of memory loss and vaugness - when he normally would be remembering things, then keep him on jobs that require not much more than eyes open // brain switched off tasks.

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#30
In reply to #29

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/28/2010 8:52 AM

If drugs or alcohol are affecting his work then sack the useless guy!

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#31

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/28/2010 9:31 AM

What's the point of a 'fictional case' ? In what circumstance has such an event come to the notice of the courts. Indeed, ban stoned or drunk employees. Also ban those taking meds that hinder ability to do a job safely.

For us pitiful non-Am's can you clarify which Sates it is and isn't legal in ? I'd have thought a supervisors assessment was enough to send a worker home for the day. If somebody is ****-faced, legal or not, it's the direct boss who has responsibility for taking him/her off-shift. A person is either up to the days work or not. Sack or send home is down to judgement and repetitude (I just made that one up ).

I'm shooting in the wind here, but maybe the best cover-all policy is to treat a medical condition as such. Example cited is iffy, but refer to medical advice on what constitutes a medical problem. Reality is that shift-boss must make a judgement call.

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#32
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/28/2010 10:38 AM

what's the point you ask.......its only going to be a matter of time before it gets challenged. Then half of these posts can say 'See I told you so.'

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#33
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/28/2010 1:22 PM

..some very odd expressions in the background... nervous, knowing look type thing. For my money, I'd take out fat people, but it's back to state level now

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#36

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

11/29/2010 11:12 AM

My answer to the OP question whould be, No, of course not in any job where a lowered level of attention or reaction time would pose a danger.

My question is why does the article single out marijuana? Shouldn't the same restrictions exist for many prescription drugs (controled substances) and even a lot of over the counter medications?

I read an article lately, but can't remember where, that suggested drivers on marijuana are actually safer than straight drivers. This is because while the drug reduces awareness and lowers reaction time, unlike alcohol it does not impair your decision making. So the stoned drivers being well aware that they were impaired drove at lower speeds, left more space between vehicles and were generally more cautious than they were when they were not under the influence. The article did point out that these results were obtained under laboratory conditions and therefore may not represent actual behavior on the roads. It would be unethical to send drivers out in public knowing they were impaired.

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#37

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

12/02/2010 11:48 AM

Now i know why there are 20 people in the bathroom when Bill goes to take his meds.!

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#38
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

12/02/2010 5:00 PM

Now that is what I would call a statistic on steroids. PMSL, Ky.

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#40

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

12/14/2010 11:01 AM

I hope that none of you experts ever have to have or need to use this material for the indented purpose of reliving symptoms of cancer and other mostly terminal conditions.

Is this a good discussion to have, possibly, but not practical. Lets let the medical community handle the sick and dieing in the kindest and gentlest way they can. If someone is using illegal drugs then lets take care of that issue.

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#41
In reply to #40

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

12/14/2010 11:27 AM

neither do I. And this is a discussion, and for the most part, a consensus seems to be, usage with stipulations. IMO, That is only fair.

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#42

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

12/15/2010 11:09 AM

The real issue for the employer is whether he believes the medicinal marijuana to present a 'recognized hazard,' and, if their judgement will be supported by OSHA inspectors, and whether that belief will be destroyed by even a minor injury or safety near miss involving that employee.

"Where no specific OSHA standard applies to a hazard, employers are still required to provide engineering, workplace procedures or human behavior methods to reduce the risk of employee injury." (see below.)

Everything else is just politics.

"The Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (84 Stat. 1590 et seq., 29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.) requires, in part, that every employer covered under the Act furnish to hisemployees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees. The Act also requires that employers comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under the Act, and that employees comply with standards, rules, regulations and orders issued under the Act which are applicable to their own actions and conduct. The Act authorizes the Department of Labor to conduct inspections, and to issue citations and proposed penalties for alleged violations.

The Act, under section 20(b), also authorizes the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare to conduct inspections and to question employers and employees in connection with research and other related activities….."

The quotation cited above as become known as the "general duty clause" and has often been the basis of OSHA enforcement actions against employers where a "recognized hazard" in places of employment was not abated, resulting in the death or serious injury of employees. Where no specific OSHA standard applies to a hazard, employers are still required to provide engineering, workplace procedures or human behavior methods to reduce the risk of employee injury. "

Source:

http://207.200.58.35/Resource%20Library/OSHA%20Guides/OSHA%2013%20General%20Duty%20Clause%202002.pdf

"On my honor I will do my duty..."

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#43
In reply to #42

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

12/15/2010 12:13 PM

the biggest hurdle is interputation of it. As to which employee to protect, if/when an incident occurs involving a user and non user

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#44
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

12/15/2010 12:17 PM

It's not easy being the boss.

It's easy sitting in the stands, having an opinion, but as Teddy roosevelt once said, its the man in the ring...

The fact that our current federaL regime seems hell bent on punishment fines fault finding rather than collaboration and making companies more competitive means that most bosses will now be focused on minimizing opportunitiy to be fined / punished rather than on finding a way to make it work out.

Milo

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#45
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

12/15/2010 12:29 PM

agree, I was thinking on the lines where one gov. agency sees the risk and another seeing it that you infringed on the employees rights if you satisfy the risk.

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#46
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

12/15/2010 12:53 PM

Yep! OSHA if they get hurt, DOL if you infringe on their rights as a priveleged victim handicapper, Employee.

Milo "the object of the act is to punish employers and collect penalties."

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#47
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

12/15/2010 1:07 PM

This just in:

http://www.ombwatch.org/files/regs/obamamidtermenforcementreport.pdf

OSHA's budget has grown under the Obama administration. In FY 2010, Obama's budget requested a $564 million appropriation for OSHA, more than $50 million more than the FY 2009 appropriation.15 (Congress adjusted the request downward to $559 million.16) In the FY 2011 request, Obama called for a $573 million appropriation.17

A closer look at the budget underscores the shifts in enforcement strategy discussed above. In Obama's FY 2010 budget, almost $30 million of the $50 million requested increase was designated for federal enforcement.18

Meanwhile, the budget called for only a $1 million increase for compliance assistance programs at the federal and state levels.20

Milo says: " This shows that its not about compliance, its about enforcement and penalties. What's the object of the act? Follow the money to see."

Hiring:" OSHA has added or expects to add 160 inspectors and other employees to its enforcement division but projects no staff increases for compliance assistance activities.21 The FY 2011 request calls for an overall increase to the federal and state enforcement budgets and an overall decrease for the state and federal compliance assistance budgets.22"

Milo Asks: "What's the object of the act? Follow the money to see. The above seems pretty clear to me."

Milo

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#48
In reply to #47

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

12/15/2010 1:21 PM

I don't understand........are the janitors hurting themselves as they lock up the shut down plants.......thank god we have the gov to be on top of this..... : /

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#49
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

12/15/2010 1:45 PM

I agree with what you have written

Bureaucracies justify themselves once formed, organizations like osha came into being to fill a void left by the free [semi] market.

were we to try to change this stuff, it would be common to add another layer of bureaucracy to oversee [see the educational system]

osha in & of itself is not a bad thing.

the question should be how can more efficient organizational structures be implemented?

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#50
In reply to #49

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

12/15/2010 2:07 PM

Yes.

You frame the question as one of organizational structure.

I guess I'm ok with the structure, just not the way they have subverted the mission from making workers safer to maximizing opportunities to collect fines and penalties.

I believe that to be leadership, not structure.

Milo

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#51
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Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

12/15/2010 3:44 PM

But overall we see this happen time after time

spend the budget or lose it, the phenomena is not limited to the public sector

the expansion of the budget is the in reaction to years of shrinking budgets

In California workmens comp rates drove companies to focus on safety & aggressively reduce hazards both real & imagined

the monthly safety meeting, was required & is actually beneficial, but there are very few companies that would do it without some incentive

how would you handle safety for a multiple location corporation?

how can that model be applied to the entire country/world?

the present [osha] model is an avalanche of overlapping paperwork [much like health care] that no one is effectively analyzing. There is no comprehensive effort to standardize the rules across the board. Much like the tax code more rules are added, without much thought to how they fit with the existing ones [or in some cases reality].

You're focusing on one symptom of a much larger issue

:D

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#52

Re: Can Medicinal Marijuana Be Used in the Workplace?

01/05/2011 10:26 AM

Geez, I almost didn't jump into this one...too many can of worms for my liking.

Of course not, no medicinal Mary Jane allowed in the workplace.

Can you just image "Joe Blow" passing around his Bong or "Football" to share it with the other workers during the lunch break? Yikers! Ohhhhh, the visions of Cheech & Chong sitting in that crappy little van as they partake in some weed in the classic burn-out movie of all time "Up in Smoke" comes to mind! Hmmmm smoke rolling out the windows as they're parked on the shoulder! It's been years and years since I've see that movie and don't care to see it again....hehehehe

Well, not in my company you do!

Then there's the question of the damn "Ambulance Chasing" lawyers (opps, I meant Shysters!) getting their greedy little raccoon mitts on the situation where your worker hurts himself under the influence, and the end result is filing a class action suit that'd make your head spin round and round, be damn federal and state statutes, just waste the Judicial time and money with a frivolous lawsuit that's bound to be tossed by the sitting Judge! Hell, the Shyster will still earn his living praying off the "Stoners" anyhow!!!!

That's all I have to say on this socially-irrelevant blog! Good day!

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