Skip to comments.Legal pot complicates drug-free work policies
Posted on 12/09/2012 3:03:33 AM PST by GeorgiaDawg32
DENVER (AP) -- Pot may be legal, but workers may want to check with their boss first before they grab the pipe or joint during off hours.
Businesses in Washington state, where the drug is legal, and Colorado, where it will be by January, are trying to figure out how to deal with employees who use it on their own time and then fail a drug test.
It is another uncertainty that has come with pot legalization as many ask how the laws will affect them.
(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...
Employers will look at employees who are doped up and performing any kind of work that invites unsafe practices. You only have to note two or three occasions, and then dismiss the guy.
Course, then you come to replacing him, and how you’d go and recruit non-smokers. If you were Howard Hughes....you’d recruit Mormons and feel pretty secure about your staff.
The job requires that you not use ________(pick a drug, or all of them).
Failing a drug test is cause for dismissal.
Put it right there on the Application.
Any job worth having in the oil patch comes with a mandatory pre-employment drug test and random checks, like it or not.
As I said to one young man, "All that stands between the 25K you make a year and a $60K job (starting) is passing a test--just not spending your money on something that keeps you from making twice as much. Your call."
Idiots. Pot is a drug. Same as alcohol...you don’t come to work stoned or drunk. You do, your fired.
Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I controlled substance according to the DEA and Federal Law. Be that as it may, alcohol is legal but I can’t work under its influence nor can I drive under it. Your employer creates the work rules, you must abide by them.
I agree with you, however, we are talking bleeding heart liberals here. They’ll try and find some way around it. Wait for the lawsuits to start when someone is fired for engaging in what is now a legal activity. (I understand alcohol is legal and you can get fired for being drunk at work. But we are talking about liberals).
THC (the active ingredient in pot) is not like alcohol in some critical respects.
Alcohol is fairly rapidly detoxed from the body. However, THC gravitates to fatty tissue and linger much, much longer. There can be traces in the body for long times afterwards.
Therefore, there are all sorts of liability issues e.g. when pot smokers operate machinery or in settings like hospitals.
It is NOT just a matter whether someone is smoking pot during working hours. It could be weeks or months even before high quantity users have the THC eliminated from their bodies (especially their brains). Employers beware that pot smokers can and will be a liability in the workplace.
I would think that there would be no question with regard to this. Currently, many employers have policies about drinking alcohol, being drunk during working hours is verboten. There are also rules against smoking. This shouldn’t be any different.
Personally, I'd consider any use grounds for dismissal. Just like before. I won't go out of my way to stop someone from smoking it though. That is their freedom of choice and consequence.
Some things absolutely require your full attention, and the requirements were introduced not as a legal issue, but one of safety.
The injury/death statistics from the industry confirm that the practice of requiring drug tests (and post accident data will doubtlessly confirm) that it is a lot safer to have straight and sober people on rig crews.
If you want to make the paycheck, make the grade.
There are quite a few other jobs which should have similar requirements, if they do not already, as a term of employment.
A stoned society is a better controlled society. Just look at what thier doing to our children and grandchildren
The way I look at it, it’s a good opportunity to dismiss obama supporters since the pot smokers more than likely voted for that knucklehead.
Companies can already refuse to hire people, and fire people, who use legal drugs....and even alcohol....so stoners should not get too overtly excited in COL and WASH if they plan to stay gainfully employed.
And, pot is one of the easiest drugs to test for
Not a problem for employers who do drug testing.
If the employee fails the test he/she should be terminated.
Yet hospitals can make it mandatory for health care workers to get flu shots, or be fired. Go figure.
This is legal and fair. If you don't want to work for places that do drug tests then work some where else, or simply don't smoke pot.
People forget the infamous Maryland Amtrak wreck of 1987, which involved a stoned engineer. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1987_Maryland_train_collision
On a side note - most of the whacked-out,'druggiest' people I've ever known all were on government-approved drugs.
Alcohol stays in your system for one or two days. Pot stays in your system for one or two MONTHS.
So people can get fired because they has a few tokes while on vacation last month, but someone who spent the weekend chit-faced drunk is okay!
Just doesn't seem right, somehow.
You state categorically that they were stoned. The wiki article only says they tested positive for it. The two are not necessarily related, due to the body's retention of thc for weeks after ingesting. But, I am sure you know that, if you have been reading the posts on this threadbut have an agenda.
FYI, I am not smoking anything but cigars these days... and wash it down with a glass of Cognac, Irish or Scotch Whiskey!
What are you drinking? There are many instances of ALCOHOL related crashes of all sorts, but most pot involved accidents are actually booze accidents with a sensational headline. I have juggled four balls when "stoned"! I could barely get them in the air when drinking booze... Just my opinion (and personal experience).
There are and should be limits to what an employer demands of their employees in their off duty hours.
However, that being said, while a test can determine if someone has THC in their system, unlike alcohol, it cannot determine if it is enough to cause inebriation.
The best result might be a medical prescription that indicates how much of what kind of marijuana a patient can smoke when off duty, and still be functional at work. Most prescriptions are scheduled, not “as needed”, so this isn’t too unrealistic. Doctors would use a weight table, suggest the marijuana before, during or after a meal, as well as asking the patient about their own experience, how long a high lasts for them.
Im regards to all drug testing, whether pot is legal or not, states/feds should specify impairment levels.
It’s not that easy. Impairment, in the case of marijuana, is highly subjective. Those who use a lot soon lose much of the impairment of infrequent users. Likewise, body weight and food consumption, and just individual differences make a single standard difficult or impossible.
Finally retention in the blood is so great that someone who would have been “baked” when they had freshly consumed marijuana and for a few hours thereafter, will have close to those same levels, but be entirely clear headed, days later.
To make things even more confusing, there are dozens of still therapeutic, but not intoxicating, chemicals in marijuana as well. If someone is using marijuana for one or more of those, not for its THC, the type of marijuana used and the dosage will be considerably different.
For example, only one variety of marijuana seems to be very efficacious in reducing the damage from the blindness causing disease Retinitis Pigmentosa. So its users are far less interested in the THC level than in the other chemical responsible for this effect.
You are aware that most current pot tests do not measure current state of “stoned” like BAC measures current state of “drunk”, right?
Yes, this will be very difficult. Right now in CA (prolly many other states), you can take a couple prescription vicodin at 7 pm, get stopped the next day and fail the drug blood test and be charged with DUI. MJ will be very hard to quantify.
Obviously the only way they can be alcohol free is to not ever drink alcohol in any form ~ not ever.
Then there is the far larger group who are unable to metabolize the aromatic hydrocarbons found in modern automotive paint ~
If you smoke on the job...then I can drink.
Impairment testing is a common sense solution to the problem.
While I'll argue the point that no one, not even your employer has any right to intrude on your privacy enough to determine what you do on YOUR time, I'll also argue they have EVERY right to determine whether or not your fit to do the job they hired you for.
Otherwise, they should be paying you 24/7 to follow their WORKPLACE policy.
So what happens when you have a bunch of unemployable stoners?
It’s gonna come out of our pocket one way or the other.
You’ve missed the point entirely, and no, that is not what I’m saying. And no, I don’t smoke.
You're of course correct, the problem with pot however is that it takes much longer to leave your system .... 6 months or more depending on how the drug test is taken.
You are aware that THC in pot is stored in human body fat cells and according to studies can have detrimental effects years after a pot smoker has stopped smoking pot, including emotional outbursts for starters, don't you?
THC is not stored in fat cells. The metabolites are what are stored in fat cells and the presence of those are what is detected in drug tests.
The “active” life of THC is only a couple/few hours.
So you’re conflating long-term negative effects with under the influence. OK.
I don't believe this is an accurate comparison. Just because .10 is "legally drunk" in some states doesn't mean that a person who blows .06 into a testing device isn't drunk or impaired. I've seen people become completely snookered after two glasses of wine. No way they'd blow .10 into a tester, yet they were drunk.
I've also seen people who can drink an awful lot, blow .10 into a testing device and appear to be perfectly sober. (They're what you might call "functional drunks.")
So any test for THC to test the "level" of inebriation would by nature be terribly flawed the same way an alcohol test is.
MJ doesn’t stay in a human body for one or two months. It’s the metabolites that are detected in drug tests, not THC.
THC itself has a very short shelf life.
No, it's not a "long term effect" if it's stored in fat cells and released into the system continually over time while a pot smoker continues to smoke pot.
“Seems pretty simple to me.
The job requires that you not use ________(pick a drug, or all of them).
Failing a drug test is cause for dismissal.
Put it right there on the Application.”
I predict that it will be only a matter of time before the “legal pot” states begin passing laws that state that employers may not discriminate against employees for “legal use” of marijuana during off-hours.
We may even see laws that bar employers from using drug testing altogether, or restrict such testing to those that can indicate “current impairment” (as distinguished from casual off-hours use).
What if your employer was able to test YOU for off-duty alcohol use?
Would you pass?
(BTW, I -would- pass, because I don’t drink and have never been drunk. Don’t use drugs, either, never did)
Perhaps you'd like to read This Article on THC Storage in Fat Cells and try again.
“You are aware that THC in pot is stored in human body fat cells and according to studies can have detrimental effects years after a pot smoker has stopped smoking pot, including emotional outbursts for starters, don’t you?”
Please cite the “studies” you’re referring to, ‘cause I think you might be confusing some facts.
“While I’ll argue the point that no one, not even your employer has any right to intrude on your privacy enough to determine what you do on YOUR time, I’ll also argue they have EVERY right to determine whether or not your fit to do the job they hired you for.”
I’m retired from railroad service (32 years).
Federal regulations for enginemen and trainmen prohibit (banned) drug usage on or OFF duty.
Employees were subject to random testing and would be removed from service if they tested positive.
These regulations were upheld by the Supreme Court of The United States. I believe they also apply to airline employees (pilots, mechanics, etc.). Very few have the gumption to even bother challenging them — the tests are all-but unbeatable.
Brilliant! So, non-smoking rats given extraordinary amounts of THC through injection and forced into a state of lipolysis through starvation after 7-10 days of said extreme injection indicate SOME level of THC returning to the bloodstream.
The best part? The cited article concludes that this may not happen to humans and requires additional studies.
Also, pot smokers typically don’t force themselves into lipolysis through starvation. I don’t know what the opposite is, but it’s done through Cheetos.
My mistake was not providing enough qualification to my statement. What I should have said was “The psychotic properties of THC itself has a very short shelf life.” The article indicates the peak in those poor, now decapatated, rats was around 8 minutes.
That’s a pretty informative article you found, I like it.
And their Constitutional jurisdiction for this is what, exactly?
Other than they SAY they can, of course.
“Pot may be legal”
Not it’s not. It’s still illegal under Federal law, including so-called “medical” pot.
I didn't say specifically THC, I used the general term 'pot'.
The argument whether it the THC itself or the metabolites produced in reaction to the THC is a matter of semantics, IMHO.
Employers can even prohibit employees from smoking tobacco in their off hours.
Dopers are dopes to think that their goal of demonizing tobacco and alcohol wasn’t going to bite them on the butt.
I agree with you. The residual remains in the body for awhile, but that does not mean the user is incapable of performing the job during the week, usually. Of course, many exceptions are inferred here, and I agree the employer has the right to handle pot smokers/smoking in any way they want and too dam bad for the employee/prospective employee. What has not been mentioned is second-hand smoke on the non-smoker, but who is tested and terminated or punished in some way. So then thresholds are applied, similar to DUI’s, etc. Over the limit, punished; not over the limit, warning, and other procedures.
Good point. Drug tests actually don't test for a total absence of metabolites, they do test for a certain level, and those exposed to second-hand smoke can have a high enough level to test positive even though they, themselves didn't personally partake.....so you are now into 'freedom of association' territory because of false positives.
Then you have some who DO partake that are intelligent enough to know how to beat the urine teat by creating a false negative, which pretty much nullifies the entire point of 'testing'.
It's just nuts! You can either do your job, or you can't. Whether that 'can't is because you're high, drunk, or just too stupid for words really is a distinction without a difference, IMHO.
“No Smoking” means NO SMOKING
The business can still make smoking pot against the rules and a firing offense. There are governments that won’t hire smokers, so its okay for a business too
Four words for you
Cirrhosis of the liver
including emotional outbursts
People who have NEVER smoked pot have 'emotional outbursts' too.
What was your point, exactly?
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