What To Do When Marijuana Comes To Work

   What To Do When Marijuana Comes To Work

Posted by CN Staff on November 11, 2005 at 15:48:57 PT
By Paula Barran  
Source: Keizertimes 

Oregon -- Marijuana is illegal, sometimes. Until the Oregon Supreme Court decides Washburn v. Columbia Forest Products, you won’t know for sure if it’s illegal on the job. Here’s what happened, and what employers can do while waiting for the decision. Federally, marijuana cannot be prescribed or used. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal government’s right to enforce the Controlled Substances Act regardless of the laws in any state.
Oregon permits certain individuals to use marijuana medically for conditions that defy other legal treatment. Although not intended to stand workplace substance abuse policies on their heads, that has happened. Oregon’s Medical Marijuana law says employers aren’t required to accommodate marijuana “in any workplace.” But in Washburn, the Court of Appeals did not think it could stretch “in any workplace” to forbid an employee from using marijuana off the job, such as right before work. “In the workplace,” the Court thought, meant physically “in” it. Oregon’s 2005 Legislature considered but did not pass amendments to the Medical Marijuana law. The scope of employer substance abuse policies now rests on the shoulders of the Oregon Supreme Court, which is scheduled to hear argument in November. In the meantime, as the Oregon Court of Appeals articulated in Washburn, here’s what is at issue: • An employer’s substance abuse policy may not categorically prohibit marijuana; • It isn’t clear if work and marijuana use can be accommodated; and • Employers might have to demonstrate an employee’s on-the-job impairment, even though impairment cannot be measured. Employers have to do something while they wait for the Supreme Court. Some tips: • Follow all federally mandated testing requirements such as those for truck drivers; federal law supersedes state law, so employers may not be flexible. • Does the employee have a disability? The medical marijuana user is requesting an accommodation in the form of adjustments to the employer’s substance abuse policy. Employees requesting an accommodation must provide evidence of a disability, such as a doctor’s letter. No disability, no accommodation. • Is there an effective accommodation that does not involve marijuana use? An employee has a legal right to an effective accommodation, not necessarily the most desired accommodation. • Does the employee present a “direct threat” to personal or public safety that an accommodation cannot reasonably reduce? Learn how to do this analysis at: • Is there a reasonable accommodation for medical marijuana use? For example, could the employee be transferred to a position where safety isn’t an issue? • Participate in the essential “interactive process” of reasonable accommodation, that is, the dialogue between employer and employee that is intended to help both parties discuss concerns and identify solutions. Look carefully at safety. If the Oregon Supreme Court decides employers must treat marijuana like any other medication, don’t expect a free pass on workplace safety. Workplace laws require employers to meet both sets of responsibilities – safety and non-discrimination. Portland lawyer Paula Barran wrote this employer advisory for Workdrugfree, a contractor providing services to employers for the Oregon Department of Human Services. She will participate in a free Nov. 15 Albany workshop for employers co-sponsored by Worksource Oregon and Workdrugfree; information is available by calling (541) 758-2642. Complete Title: Employers' New Puzzle: What To Do When Marijuana Comes To WorkSource: Keizertimes (OR)Author: Paula Barran Published: November 11, 2005Copyright 2005 Keizertimes, Inc. Contact: scallister keizertimes.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Oregon Medical Marijuana Act Court Hears Case on MMJ in The Workplace Deal With Medical Marijuana Issue User Wins Appeal in Employment Dispute

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Comment #14 posted by FoM on November 13, 2005 at 07:54:04 PT
Pat Robertson 
The problem with Pat Robertson is first he is in politics. That means he sways his followers to vote the way he wants which is why I believe in the separation of church and state. He is a fundamentalist but believes people must conform to what he believes God wants or God will getcha. It's a very dangerous combination. No one person has a direct phone line to what God wants for humanity and it is very vain to think they do.
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Comment #13 posted by John Tyler on November 13, 2005 at 07:42:04 PT

Pat's air time
Pat Robertson is a nut case for sure and says very stupid things. Pat’s home base is in Virginia Beach, Virginia where he has a huge religious based cable TV station and a religious college. (You may have heard of the 700 Club.) He is very rich and has a huge following so he gets an audience and a free pass when he says these things. 
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Comment #12 posted by Richard Zuckerman on November 12, 2005 at 12:12:05 PT:

New Jersey candidates for Governor, U.S. Senator Jon S. Corzine and Douglas Forrester, BOTH, promised to sign a medical-marijuana law if elected, according to Marijuana Policy Project posting of an Associated Press article written by Angela Delli Santi, on October 12, 2005.We can improve the curriculum of public schools by contacting Congress to sponsor the draft legislation, entitled "Freedom in Education Act", of Gun Owners of America, 8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA, 22151, (telephone number)(703) 321-8585, Senator Frank Lautenberg sent me a response stating he agrees that the federal government should allow States to decide whether to legalize Medical Marijuana but that there is nothing he can do because no legislation is pending on the matter. I e-mailed him a Reply writing that he can vote against funding the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Central Intelligence Agency.Last night, I attended the Grand Funk Railroad concert, at the Bergen Performing Arts Center, Englewood, New Jersey, off of Route 9W North, near the George Washington Bridge. There was no odor of pot there! A retired U.S. Marines General stated during a Veterans Day event that the U.S. Veterans Administration should improve their health care delivery. I sent them an e-mail about an hour ago on their Web page complaint form about my recent personal experiences with their health care system. It also asks them to use medical Marijuana. I'm a 100% rated "permanent and total" mentally disabled vet. The V.A. dentist told me they have no alternative to Mercury amalgam dental fillings of deep cavities. I accepted the many Mercury amalgam dental fillings, unaware until I heard Gary Null on about the dangers of Mercury amalgam fillings. In addition, my blood level of Testosterone is a "low normal." At 47 years of age, I should raise that. Dr. Raji, a Primary Care Clinic Physician at the East Orange V.A. Medical Center, East Orange, N.J., refused to give me a blood test for Mercury level, saying many many people have Mercury amalgam dental fillings without complications. Dr. Raji refused to provide me with Testosterone. Dr. Raji also refused to provide me with a Sonography test to determine whether my blood vessels are healthy. She became loud and urged me to seek an outside health provider. V.A. Health Care seems to be concerned with: [1] keeping down costs; [2] waiting for the veterans to suffer a debilitating illness; and [3] assisting in burial; in this order of priority.  Richard Paul Zuckerman, Post Office Box 159, Metuchen, New Jersey, 08840-0159, richardzuckerman2002 
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on November 12, 2005 at 09:17:36 PT

I agree to turn off news channels that we don't like. I never watch Fox News. I watch CNN when I watch news. They seem more concerned with issues that I care about. The news channels just aren't as good as the Internet to get what we want and need to know.
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Comment #10 posted by runderwo on November 12, 2005 at 09:12:56 PT

Pat Robertson is a joke. How does he manage to get air time?I don't think the O'Reilly thing is that big a deal. If he is that offensive then people should just tune him out. I'm beginning to think that if we are going to continue this crazy nation-building, we should have separate militaries. One for defense, one for crusading. We always need a strong national defense and that is the point O'Reilly is trying to make, if cities outlaw recruitment where does the defense come from? But the point the voters are trying to make is that fighting these idiot overseas wars while the homeland rots is not something they want to be involved in. If the military were separated into offense and defense then they could pass a resolution saying we will only allow recruitment for positions that do not extend outside the continental US, its territories or the surrounding waters. At least that's the most obvious thing that comes to me.Here is the link to the peyote article. It is too long to put in the link box.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on November 12, 2005 at 07:33:57 PT

Some of the things I have seen on the news recently seems almost unreal. Who are these right wing people that think they have a right to say the things they do? I thought politicians were to serve the people not condemn them when they don't do what they want them to do. I barely watch the news anymore. 
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Comment #8 posted by mayan on November 12, 2005 at 05:18:24 PT

O'Reilly and Pat Robertson should get together and smoke some more crack! I think these guys know the jig is up and are literally losing it! Robertson recently called for the assassination of Hugo Chavez, a democratically elected leader, and now this... Robertson warns Pennsylvania voters of God's wrath:'s more evidence that Uncle Sam is into heroin trafficking...Follow the drugs: US shown the way: OFF TO STEVEN E. JONES...Advice For Prof. Jones, in for Whirlwind 9/11 Ride, after Claiming WTC Was a Controlled Demolition: Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse? professor thinks bombs, not planes, toppled WTC:,1249,635160132,00.htmlDangerous times...GOP memo touts new terror attack as way to reverse party's decline:
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on November 11, 2005 at 22:33:34 PT

Off Topic: A Good Beginning
US House Drops Alaska Oil Drilling PlanCBC - Newfoundland & Labrador - Nov 10, 2005Environmentalists have won a temporary victory after Republican moderates forced leaders in the US House of Representatives to abandon a controversial plan to open up an Alaskan wildlife refuge to oil drilling. ...
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on November 11, 2005 at 21:53:23 PT

Off Topic: O'Reilly
Local Leaders Unleash Vitriol at O'Reilly TV host should be fired for comments about city, Daly says
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on November 11, 2005 at 21:50:41 PT

John Tyler
I don't know anything about Peyote but I believe the findings.
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Comment #4 posted by John Tyler on November 11, 2005 at 20:37:29 PT

a little off topic
This is a little off topic, but it related to the Drug War lies. Earlier this week in the Washington Post there was a article about a study done by some prestigious medical organization. They were studying the effects of peyote usage by Native American who attended the Native American Church where peyote is used as a sacrament. What they found was that there were NO detrimental effects physically, emotionally or psychologically from using peyote. These guys tripped 12 times a year over a number of years too. Mescaline is the active component in peyote.  
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Comment #3 posted by Jim Lunsford on November 11, 2005 at 18:53:46 PT

One last post
I promise! Just read this article in the Christian Science Moniter. Here's a brief excerpt:"High prices and rising profits tell investors and businesses to increase supplies, and those same prices tell some consumers to curb their demand or switch to alternative fuels."I don't know why, but the word "Hemp" or "Cannabis" comes to mind when I hear the phrase "alternative fuel." Of course, that could be just me. But, I don't think so. Peace, Rev JimRev Jim LunsfordFirst Cannabist ChurchEnemies: Disappear with understandingAnd here is the entire article:
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Comment #2 posted by Jim Lunsford on November 11, 2005 at 18:40:58 PT

I think people are standing together now. Ralph Nader's message a few posts ago, appear to address a large percentage of our nation's concerns. We are tired of this type of government. And I think that the government, in many respects, is tired of itself as well. Yet, what could be done before campaign finance reform? Always follow the money. That's the thing you look for in history. And one huge ocean of money was just dried up. Now, convservatives are being voted off of school boards, and are being separated from the moderates in Congress itself. I think that Denver and Ferndale have really brought government to it's knees.  So, who's government? Us. The local communities within which we live. As the recent commercial of the ONDCP's new campaign, Above the Influence states: If you allow others to make decisions for you, then..... I forget the rest. I hope you get the gist of it though. Prohibition is over. Just as soon as we stand up and say it is anyway. That's all we need do. Besides, it's just change. There's been a lot of that with this whole freedom of information. We know better now. Will we still choose judgement or have we evolved enough to choose compassion? Perhaps forgiveness and understanding are the reasons why I choose Cannabis. It has helped me find so much of that forgiveness for myself that I had been seeking for so many years.Life can be short, and end in an instant. With no warning whatsoever. So live it out fully, and let no one else live your's for you either. Every moment is a gift, and I think that those moments could be better spent on compassion and understanding, than judgement and condemnation.There are great changes happening in the politics of the world. It seems apparant that Cannabis is central to much of these changes. I can only hope that we have matured enough as a species to keep holding on to the same mind-set of good and evil. I believe that a country which sees prison as a failure of the society, and a means of last resort, would be a country (or world) with which I would prefer to live in. Peace and love to you all, Rev. JimRev Jim LunsfordFirst Cannabist ChurchForgiveness: Forgive yourself first. 

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Comment #1 posted by siege on November 11, 2005 at 18:08:26 PT

 Paula Barran 
Been in the construction field since 1958, I have worked with people that Smoked Marijuana on the job and never got hurt we would work from 8 to 20 hours day. The Banks accommodate us, when we got off work at 2 or 3 AM, the day we got payed. I don't not know of one person that did not use marijuana on the job. this was for 24 Months, If you did not work hard you where gone. so this is just Bad Service by the government and there prohibition on marijuana. then Ray Gun passed the Pee in a cup thing, and they came around and said we had to Pee, we all walked off the job and no one went back till they droped, PEE in the cup, they lost big money and 3 more jobs. If people would stand togather we could kill this Bad service by the govt.
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