MMJ Bill Doesn't Give Employees Free Rein
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MMJ Bill Doesn't Give Employees Free Rein
Posted by CN Staff on February 15, 2010 at 05:30:03 PT
By Leslie Kwoh, The Star-Ledger
Source: Star-Ledger
New Jersey -- Will jobs go to pot because of the medical marijuana bill? Thatís the burning question on the minds of many employers and workers after New Jersey last month became the first state in the region to legalize medical marijuana.The Compassionate Use Act, which takes effect in July, protects medical marijuana users from criminal prosecution and penalties. But how the bill applies to the workplace is bound to become a hot topic for many companies, predicts employment lawyer Carol Goodman, adding that clients are already flooding her office with inquiries.
If history is any indication, the fledgling law ó which states only that employers donít have to allow the use of medical marijuana in the workplace ó is sure to spark a series of lawsuits, she said.In 2008, the State Supreme Court in California, the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, ruled that employers could fire workers who failed drug tests. Last month, the same court struck down a law that sought to place limits on the amount of medical marijuana a patient can possess.Court rulings across the dozen other states that currently allow medical marijuana have also helped to clarify the law on issues like privacy and discrimination. Goodman predicts New Jersey will undergo a similar process."In the next year, weíre going to see a lot of different court cases and regulations that go into details. Once there are, the open issues will be clarified," said Goodman, a partner with Manhattan law firm Herrick, Feinstein.But, she added, the law will probably never expand to allow the use of medical marijuana in the workplace.She recently spoke with Your Business about how to interpret the current version of the bill.Q. Can an employee use medical marijuana in the workplace?A. The act doesnít allow the use in the workplace at all. All it does is protect them from being arrested. Snipped   Complete Article: Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ)Author:  Leslie Kwoh, The Star-LedgerPublished: February 15, 2010Copyright: 2010 Newark Morning Ledger Co.Contact: eletters starledger.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on February 15, 2010 at 11:31:10 PT
charmed quark 
What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty? What I mean by that is why do we punish people when they haven't done anything wrong? If a person is impaired at work and it becomes obvious then they should deal with it but like my husband's father said many years ago that it takes practice to be a good drunk and drive a car. That was how it was looked at many many years ago but now insurance companies are telling us how everything should be done.
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Comment #4 posted by charmed quark on February 15, 2010 at 11:00:39 PT
I believe employers have the right
I think employers have the right to control legal drug use in the workplace. If they feel that someone using prescribed narcotics in the workplace is a risk, they should first try to accommodate them - maybe moving them to a desk job, for instance. If they can't accommodate them they are within their rights to ask them not to use the drugs at work.Same for medical marijuana, although I believe it's a LOT less risky and wish employers would use science-based methods to decide risk factors.BUT - what we are mostly talking about is employers firing people with legal medical marijuana OKs who test positive. If a person isn't impaired when they are at the worksite - and I'm defining "impaired" loosely to match the drug warriors definition, such as being slightly "high" - what right do they have to fire them. Simply for having metabolites in their urine! Plus it is simply a waste of human resources.
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Comment #3 posted by Storm Crow on February 15, 2010 at 10:50:17 PT
According to theory...
Artificially and naturally produced chemicals are the same chemically. The pharmaceutical companies say this about vitamins all the time- natural and artificial chemical are identical! (Actually, I am not convinced that they are right about that. Artificial and natural Vitamin C have very different crystalization patterns.) Artificially produced THC is schedule 3. Naturally produced THC is schedule 1. It has been claimed by prohibitionists that cannabis can cause schizophrenia- when it comes to scheduling, it certainly seems to do that! Two identical substances but one is legal for medical use and research, and the other is not! The only difference is their origin. They seem to be at a "Science good, Nature bad!" level of thinking. 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on February 15, 2010 at 06:01:17 PT
I agree with you. Why in the world is Cannabis still a Schedule I drug? It's down right crazy.
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on February 15, 2010 at 05:53:52 PT
Why is cannabis a Schedule I substance, anyway?
What's the difference between Vicodin and Percodet etc. and cannabis in the workplace??? Some of the people who use cannabis are using it instead of the Pharm pills, right? Are the Pharm pills with their implications... ok? -But not cannabis?Is this issue resolved by RE-Scheduling cannabis away from Schedule I to Schedule II or III?Why on planet earth is Cannabis a Schedule I substance anyway? -Ignoids do not want to know but intelligent beings do.
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