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Author: Subject: Something not Trump related
OOMike
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posted on 5-15-2018 at 12:36 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Something not Trump related

I was thinking about this and would like any input you have, experienced or not:

With the advent of legalized medical marijuana at the state level, and the ADA provides protection for the employee at the federal level, can you be legally fired for failing a drug test if you have a valid prescription?





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Matte
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posted on 5-15-2018 at 01:48 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Here is a little article about someone in this situation in Arizona.

"The ADA prohibits disability discrimination and requires reasonable employment accommodations for individuals with disabilities. The ADA does not consider individuals who currently use illegal drugs to be qualified disabled individuals entitled to reasonable accommodation. And marijuana is an illegal drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Accordingly, these authors are not aware of any published case law holding that an employee’s use of medical marijuana is subject to the ADA’s protections. To the contrary, authority out of the Ninth Circuit (within which the District of Arizona resides) has held that medical marijuana use is not protected under the ADA, as the ADA does not protect illegal drug use and marijuana remains illegal under federal law."



Personal experience: I work off and on at a nuclear plant in New Jersey where medical marijuana is a thing. If you test positive for marijuana, though, you're more than likely out of a job. The excuse I've heard is that state legalization doesn't mean anything because the drug test they administer is a federal drug test.

[Edited on 5-15-2018 by Matte]





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OOMike
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posted on 5-15-2018 at 04:15 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Thank you.





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denverpunk
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posted on 5-15-2018 at 04:50 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
It seems like the micro version of the legalised marijuana climate. The states can and do legalize, but if the feds decide to shut it down, they have precedence to do so.
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Paddlefoot
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posted on 5-15-2018 at 05:03 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Depends. Despite Jeff Session's rants the feds haven't don't anything of any consequence so far to interfere with legal recreational sales in Colorado or Washington.

As for employers and drug tests I imagine it'll be up to the business owners and managers to decide what to do. We have the same situation here in Canada where full legalization is going to happen on August 1st. I suppose an employer right now can legally say that anyone with THC in their bloodstream at work is the same as an employee being drunk on company premises, and can either send them for counselling or just fire them. The employer will have solid grounds in their favour depending on the type of work they employee is doing (e.g. vehicle or heavy machinery operator, doctors, nurses, firefighters, etc.) and less so if for some reason they decide to test their clerical or office or retail staff. It's really all a just a huge grey area now that's going to take a lot of time to settle out through the usual process of court cases and civil liberties vs. employer rights arguments.





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OOMike
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posted on 5-15-2018 at 06:00 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Paddlefoot
As for employers and drug tests I imagine it'll be up to the business owners and managers to decide what to do. We have the same situation here in Canada where full legalization is going to happen on August 1st. I suppose an employer right now can legally say that anyone with THC in their bloodstream at work is the same as an employee being drunk on company premises, and can either send them for counselling or just fire them.


That brings up the question in that THC remains in your blood (and urine) long after any effects of the drug on your system. If you take a hit off a bowl and a shot of tequila on Saturday, Monday's blood test would be negative for alcohol but positive for THC, but you are not under the effect of either.





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Prejudices are rarely overcome by argument; not being founded in reason they cannot be destroyed by logic – Tryon Edwards

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Flash
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posted on 5-15-2018 at 07:04 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I think a year or so back John Oliver devoted a whole episode to medical marijuana on Last Week Tonight in his usual entertaining fashion which very much touches on this topic... Should be able to find it on youtube. If I recall it very much highlighted the conundrum of how you could be legally in the clear at a state level, have a legitimate medical need for it, but still wind up fired under federal rules... I seem to recall a very galling example of a guy in a wheelchair finding himself out of work.
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loki
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posted on 5-16-2018 at 02:57 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
This is personal experience, so take it for that’s worth.

A number of states around where I live are all-in on medical marijuana. However, as it is still illegal on the federal level your job seems to determine if you can use it or not. For example, Massachusetts decriminalized marijuana a while back. However, if you are in the military in the state (either part time or full time) and fail a drug test you can be demoted or discharged under federal law.

Even if the job is not a federal one I have heard stories from medical centers where people have gotten into trouble. According to the people there it is not uncommon for people to test positive for marijuana and eventually be let go. Heavy machine operators, for example.

To Mike’s point about THC remaining in your blood even after you’ve smoked it while alcohol is gone quickly – true enough, but a since a lot of states are at-will when it comes to employment, it does not seem to matter. Your logic is sound, but to use the heavy machine operator above as an example: If the operator gets into an accident one of the first things they do is make that person take a blood test to make sure there is nothing in their system. If there is alcohol in their system they are fired. If the test comes back positive for THC the company is looking at a public relations problem. Sure, the person may have last smoked two weeks ago, but they tested positive for pot. The average person, the average employment company, the average insurance company, and the average media outlet that may or may not cover the story will see that the operator tested positive for THC and assume the operator must have been high at the time of the accident. The operator could argue, of course, but at this moment in time – with marijuana legalization being new and scattershot and not legal everywhere – it is easier, quicker, and cheaper to just fire the operator or let them go a little while later.

Bottom line: If your job requires you to take a blood test you are probably better off not doing it. That will probably change in the future, but for now you run a high risk of losing that job if you test positive.

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OOMike
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posted on 5-16-2018 at 12:30 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Sounds like the answer is, states legalizing it don't mean shit unless the federal government legalizes it.

However Ohio is looking to add recreational marijuana to the ballot in 2019 so I will still vote for it, and hope that I can enjoy it, since my job don't care. My wife on the other hand will have to go with a contact buzz.

ETA:


[Edited on 5-16-2018 by OOMike]





2017 where Nazis are defended and being against Fascism is a bad thing.

Prejudices are rarely overcome by argument; not being founded in reason they cannot be destroyed by logic – Tryon Edwards

Never let the facts interfere with a good rant.

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CamstunPWG187
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posted on 5-17-2018 at 03:31 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
THC stays in your fat cells more than it does your blood. If you are a fat individual, it takes a tremendously long time for THC to be expelled from your body.
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