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Legal pot complicates drug-free work policies
AP ^ | 12/7/12 | KRISTEN WYATT and GENE JOHNSON

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 ...


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: colorado; culturewar; dopersrights; drugs; marijuana; pot; potheads; washington
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1 posted on 12/09/2012 3:03:52 AM PST by GeorgiaDawg32
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To: GeorgiaDawg32

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.


2 posted on 12/09/2012 3:10:16 AM PST by pepsionice
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To: GeorgiaDawg32
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.

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."

3 posted on 12/09/2012 3:11:04 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: GeorgiaDawg32

Idiots. Pot is a drug. Same as alcohol...you don’t come to work stoned or drunk. You do, your fired.


4 posted on 12/09/2012 3:11:30 AM PST by Dallas59 (President Robert Gibbs 2009-2011)
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To: GeorgiaDawg32

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.


5 posted on 12/09/2012 3:15:21 AM PST by Artie (We are surrounded by MORONS)
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To: Smokin' Joe

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).


6 posted on 12/09/2012 3:18:22 AM PST by GeorgiaDawg32
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To: GeorgiaDawg32

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.


7 posted on 12/09/2012 3:19:45 AM PST by veritas2002
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To: GeorgiaDawg32

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.


8 posted on 12/09/2012 3:26:42 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: GeorgiaDawg32
Pretty simple line to draw here, IMHO. I'm all for making it legal. I don't see any specific need to permit an employee to abuse it during work hours.

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.

9 posted on 12/09/2012 3:28:22 AM PST by Caipirabob (Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: GeorgiaDawg32
There is no way around getting burned to death on a workover rig because someone spaced something out, nor being crushed by 10,000 pounds of traveling blocks because the driller was, "like, distracted man. Bummer."

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.

10 posted on 12/09/2012 3:28:38 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: GeorgiaDawg32

A stoned society is a better controlled society. Just look at what thier doing to our children and grandchildren


11 posted on 12/09/2012 3:36:18 AM PST by ronnie raygun (bb)
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To: veritas2002

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.


12 posted on 12/09/2012 3:36:27 AM PST by GeorgiaDawg32
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To: GeorgiaDawg32; All

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


13 posted on 12/09/2012 4:01:53 AM PST by SeminoleCounty (Illegal Aliens do not pay Social Security...Employers do.)
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To: GeorgiaDawg32

Not a problem for employers who do drug testing.

If the employee fails the test he/she should be terminated.


14 posted on 12/09/2012 4:27:53 AM PST by octex
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To: SeminoleCounty

Yet hospitals can make it mandatory for health care workers to get flu shots, or be fired. Go figure.


15 posted on 12/09/2012 4:30:55 AM PST by Daffynition (Self-respect: the secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious. ~ HLM)
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To: GeorgiaDawg32
Here's the way I look at it. Simply because it is legal doesn't make it ok to do it on the job, alcohol is legal but most companies have a strict policy about drinking on the job. Since pot stays in the system for 30 days, or so I am told, then the company has the right to say that since they can't determine if the drug test failed because the person used on the job or not, they are going to have to fire the person simply on the assumption they used on the job, for safety purposes.

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.

16 posted on 12/09/2012 4:31:58 AM PST by calex59
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To: GeorgiaDawg32

People forget the infamous Maryland Amtrak wreck of 1987, which involved a stoned engineer. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1987_Maryland_train_collision


17 posted on 12/09/2012 4:41:46 AM PST by ingeborg (Don't take it out on Willie Green.)
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To: GeorgiaDawg32
This is something I never understood. Employers say they want a 'drug free workplace', [which is understandable], but what they MEAN is that they want a drug-free work FORCE....which is not the same thing.

On a side note - most of the whacked-out,'druggiest' people I've ever known all were on government-approved drugs.

18 posted on 12/09/2012 4:58:40 AM PST by MamaTexan (To follow Original Constitutional Intent, one MUST acknowledge the Right of secession)
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To: Dallas59
Pot is a drug. Same as alcohol...you don’t come to work stoned or drunk. You do, your fired.

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.

19 posted on 12/09/2012 5:03:20 AM PST by MamaTexan (To follow Original Constitutional Intent, one MUST acknowledge the Right of secession)
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To: ingeborg
...which involved a stoned engineer.

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).

20 posted on 12/09/2012 5:03:30 AM PST by WVKayaker ("Hang in there, America. Fight for what is right." - Sarah Palin 11/7/12)
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To: GeorgiaDawg32

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.


21 posted on 12/09/2012 5:34:42 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Pennies and Nickels will NO LONGER be Minted as of 1/1/13 - Tim Geithner, US Treasury Sect)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

Im regards to all drug testing, whether pot is legal or not, states/feds should specify impairment levels.


22 posted on 12/09/2012 5:45:56 AM PST by umgud (No Rats, No Rino's)
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To: umgud

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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thc

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.


23 posted on 12/09/2012 6:12:55 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Pennies and Nickels will NO LONGER be Minted as of 1/1/13 - Tim Geithner, US Treasury Sect)
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To: Dallas59

You are aware that most current pot tests do not measure current state of “stoned” like BAC measures current state of “drunk”, right?


24 posted on 12/09/2012 6:53:15 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

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.


25 posted on 12/09/2012 6:54:54 AM PST by umgud (No Rats, No Rino's)
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To: MamaTexan
Some people inherit a slightly different gene set and they are unable to metabolize alcohol. They have a drink of wine in June and the alcohol is still in there come Thanksgiving.

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 ~

26 posted on 12/09/2012 7:25:48 AM PST by muawiyah
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To: FreedomPoster

If you smoke on the job...then I can drink.


27 posted on 12/09/2012 7:26:50 AM PST by Dallas59 (President Robert Gibbs 2009-2011)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy
while a test can determine if someone has THC in their system, unlike alcohol, it cannot determine if it is enough to cause inebriation.

Impairment testing is a common sense solution to the problem.

Impairment Tests: An Alternative to Drug-Testing in the Workplace

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.

28 posted on 12/09/2012 8:06:30 AM PST by MamaTexan (To follow Original Constitutional Intent, one MUST acknowledge the Right of secession)
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To: Caipirabob

So what happens when you have a bunch of unemployable stoners?

It’s gonna come out of our pocket one way or the other.


29 posted on 12/09/2012 8:11:32 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: Dallas59

You’ve missed the point entirely, and no, that is not what I’m saying. And no, I don’t smoke.


30 posted on 12/09/2012 8:14:51 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: Dallas59
Idiots. Pot is a drug. Same as alcohol...you don’t come to work stoned or drunk. You do, your fired.

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.

31 posted on 12/09/2012 8:20:53 AM PST by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: FreedomPoster
You are aware that most current pot tests do not measure current state of “stoned” like BAC measures current state of “drunk”, right?

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?

32 posted on 12/09/2012 8:22:51 AM PST by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: veritas2002

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.


33 posted on 12/09/2012 8:26:07 AM PST by imfleck
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To: usconservative

So you’re conflating long-term negative effects with under the influence. OK.


34 posted on 12/09/2012 8:27:17 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy
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.

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.

35 posted on 12/09/2012 8:28:52 AM PST by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: MamaTexan

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.


36 posted on 12/09/2012 8:30:28 AM PST by imfleck
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To: FreedomPoster
So you’re conflating long-term negative effects with under the influence. OK

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.

37 posted on 12/09/2012 8:30:44 AM PST by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: Smokin' Joe

“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)


38 posted on 12/09/2012 8:31:05 AM PST by Road Glide
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To: imfleck
THC itself has a very short shelf life.

Perhaps you'd like to read This Article on THC Storage in Fat Cells and try again.

39 posted on 12/09/2012 8:34:41 AM PST by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: usconservative

“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.


40 posted on 12/09/2012 8:34:45 AM PST by imfleck
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To: MamaTexan

“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.


41 posted on 12/09/2012 8:43:54 AM PST by Road Glide
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To: usconservative

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.


42 posted on 12/09/2012 8:57:39 AM PST by imfleck
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To: Road Glide
These regulations were upheld by the Supreme Court of The United States.

And their Constitutional jurisdiction for this is what, exactly?

Other than they SAY they can, of course.

43 posted on 12/09/2012 9:18:26 AM PST by MamaTexan (To follow Original Constitutional Intent, one MUST acknowledge the Right of secession)
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To: GeorgiaDawg32

“Pot may be legal”

Not it’s not. It’s still illegal under Federal law, including so-called “medical” pot.


44 posted on 12/09/2012 9:23:51 AM PST by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!)
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To: imfleck
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.

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.

45 posted on 12/09/2012 9:30:10 AM PST by MamaTexan (To follow Original Constitutional Intent, one MUST acknowledge the Right of secession)
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To: GeorgiaDawg32

HOW?

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.


46 posted on 12/09/2012 9:37:46 AM PST by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: MamaTexan

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.


47 posted on 12/09/2012 9:52:49 AM PST by SgtHooper (The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.)
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To: SgtHooper
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.

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.

48 posted on 12/09/2012 11:05:15 AM PST by MamaTexan (To follow Original Constitutional Intent, one MUST acknowledge the Right of secession)
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To: MamaTexan

“No Smoking” means NO SMOKING

not hard

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


49 posted on 12/09/2012 11:09:14 AM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: usconservative
and according to studies can have detrimental effects years after a pot smoker has stopped smoking pot

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?

50 posted on 12/09/2012 11:10:12 AM PST by MamaTexan (To follow Original Constitutional Intent, one MUST acknowledge the Right of secession)
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