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a medical marijuana thread  RSS feed

 
Brenda Groth
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I know of a person, no names, who went through the legal ropes to get a medical marijuana card to attempt to get off of the extremely dangerous pain pills that he was taking (morphine and oxycontin) as well as antidepressants. This state legalized medical marijuana 2 years ago. This person let his boss know that he was going to use the medical marijuana at home (not at work) to get to sleep at night and reduce his medications. He was able to get completely off of the morhpine and the antidepressants and was working 12 hours a day 7 days a week with no problems doing the work and training new employees, no complaints, no accidents.

The co decided to urine test all employees that drive a hi lo and he was tested..the test came back with slight traces of THC (medical mar)..and he was a week later suspended, and then another week later fired. Reason given "we do not recognize the state Medical marijuana law"..(which he has recorded)

He at this time is attempting to get off the last 3 1/2 oxy pills that he still takes and then off the medical marijuana so that he can be clean to test for a new job, they are also fighting his unemployment.

What advice, comments, etc do people have concerning this (please be nice, he is doing this to get OFF stronger medications)

If this isn't a discussable subject Paul fee free to remove it..thanks.
 
Michael Glasgow
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Hello, Dr. Courtney at ukia Calif. can help @www.med_verify.info or 707-937-4937
DrCourtney@mcn.org
M. Glasgow, tell him dont stop trying!!
 
R Scott
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If the drug test for the machinery is mandatory by fed regs like OSHA, the company has no option and he has to fight big gov. Even though oxy and morphine are no-no's for heavy machinery, too.

If it is a company only policy, there may be room for a lawyer to convince them they made a mistake. That is a gamble and probably would require $$$$.

The reality is there are consequences, especially doing things outside the box while trying to work in the box at the same time.
 
Saybian Morgan
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I think this guy has a case if he's on the record as stating his medicinal use to the employer prior to going into treatment. I get why their policy is nobody who "hypotheticaly" could be on drug's by virtue of having taken drugs outside of work can be on the machine, but it's no surprise to the company if he really told them, he's entitled to me moved from the heavy machinery job. But they fired him as if it was the discovery of a concealed social disorder of drug use. That's the issue I could support, regardless of the chosen drug
 
Eric Thompson
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The state medical marijuana laws do nothing to "legalize" marijuana - it is still an illegal drug under federal law which always trumps state law. The state laws are really just assurances that you won't be prosecuted in state or local courts if you're within their guidelines and have a permit. The Feds can still come arrest you and confiscate your vehicle whether you have a state permit or not.

So, being fired for using illegal drugs outside of work -- I can understand that if it's a company policy -- I think most companies have such a policy whether they test or not..

 
wayne stephen
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I am in management in an industry that does not allow impaired individuals to work. Where he may have a case is in the consistent application of their policies.
Did they know that he was taking morphine and oxycontin while operating machinery ? Those medications are without a doubt impairing to the senses even at the lowest doses. If they knew he was doing so , they are required to take him off those job tasks. Most corporate drug policies state that the employee is required to inform the management that they are taking prescription medications before starting work.
 
Brenda Groth
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he was using the pain medications and turning in his info on them for nearly 19 1/2 years of employment with this same company..yes..and he was always allowed to get his hi lo license even though the drug tests always showed the morphine and oxy ..it was the small amount of thc that they questioned (that was helping him to get off the morphine entirely and the oxy down to 3 1/2 pills a day )..that they fired him for.

 
John Polk
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I'm not a lawyer (I'm too proud to lower myself to that), but I would think that if he has been performing his job for 19 ½ under the influence of opiates, and they knew it all along, he probably stands to get a nice 'back pay' check once the dust settles.

It sounds like they are trying to get rid of him before he hits the 20 year mark. I hope that this whole episode backfires on the company, as it sounds to me like they are trying to save some money at his expense.

 
wayne stephen
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A wrongful dismissal suit may be an option. The company may have given him the impression that it was okay under their policies to operate machinery under the influence of prescription narcotics . How was he to know when the line would be drawn for zero tolerance. Machinery operation under the influence of morphine and oxycontin shows a wide band of tolerance for impaired workers , why do they get to discriminate against medical marijuana. They should in all conscience had removed him from machinery operation along time ago if safety was really their goal.
 
Brenda Groth
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thanks, I agree and will let him know what is being said here. He had his cellphone on record during the dismissal interview and is still trying to get unemployment. he is off nearly all the narcotic pain meds now, down to only 3 1/2 pills a day and dropping off, trying to quit them cold turkey..and once he is off all pain meds he'll stop the medical marijuana as well (it keeps him from throwing up while going off the oxy)..

He has done well getting off the meds so far and is determined to have them all out of his system. He has been on pain pills since an auto accident 19 years ago..so he has been working while on narcontic pain meds the entire time..and yes they knew it and his work ins co was paying for them.
 
Brenda Groth
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Person above was blacklisted in the local area and also told by the employment agency that they would refuse to place him
 
John Polk
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Without getting into a political debate here, it sounds like a perfect time for him to get in touch with the ACLU.
They would probably love to take on a case such as this. They love a case that could set a precedent.
Thousands of maligned workers could be saved heartaches in the future. Wrongful dismissal is a serious problem for many.



 
Brenda Groth
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actually the aclu did save his father's job one time back in the 70's...and so he is considering it. We are learning a lot about the medical marij law..what a joke...they aren't really standing behind it at all (the state)
 
Peter Mally
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Brenda Groth wrote:actually the aclu did save his father's job one time back in the 70's...and so he is considering it. We are learning a lot about the medical marij law..what a joke...they aren't really standing behind it at all (the state)


That's because the State is pissed off that the People voted for it. The biggest problem was that the law wasn't well thought out when it was put on the ballot. Since it was a ballot initiative the State has no choice but to go along with it. I do question why Synder isn't more on board with it as it brings in a TON of money to the State at a time when we really need the economic boost here.
 
John Polk
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That's true. Many states now have a variety of legalizing laws on the State Law Books, but the federal laws trump state laws. Most city/state officials do not want to deal with it because the Feds can come in and overturn anything that is done at a local level. So it becomes a huge potential waste of revenue in their eyes. It is easier to play ostrich, and just bury your head in the sand.

As a side note, isn't "Marijuana Initiative" an oxymoron?
 
Brenda Groth
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the person mentioned in OP received a redetermination from the state that he is now approved for unemployment. (20 weeks later). Seems the company did not fight the unempl after all after they determined that the medical marij had not affected his ability to work (12 to 16 hours a day 7 days a week)..so he now gets all of his unemployment as of Monday.

He also had been blackballed by the company in the immediate area but has had some job interviews for outside the immediate area (no longer has his med marij card and hasn't used in 4 mo)..He is at an interview 93 miles from his house (one way) right now..at a job that will pay twice what he was making at previous job..has had some other offers so things are looking up for this person.
 
John Polk
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I'm glad that things are looking up for him. He's already been through too much.

Thank you for the update.

 
Brenda Groth
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Yes, he just got another job interview too..unfortunately he will have to relocate during the week at least for any job he takes as he is blacklisted in the local area (he thinks his previous employer was planning on offering him his job back after the 6 mo waiting period that is required that the employer has to wait to rehire so they don't have to reinstate your seniority and 6 weeks vacation.) but if he gets the new jobs the pay will be nearly double and better benefits and chances of a future..so he hopes he'll get one of those before Nov 30 when his old employer is free to offer him his old job back..he wants to be able to turn up his nose at that offer when it comes.
 
Chris Kott
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I just want to express my respect for someone who would kick all his drug habits even though he is still in pain. I would have kept the pot at least.

A simple solution that would allow him to keep using cannabis is the same one potheads have been using to pass tests since the tests were invented; use a detox or masking product that you drink a proscribed interval before each test.

-CK
 
Devon Olsen
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im not sure what kind of advice you are lookign for in particular but as a private company, they have a right to hire or fire whomever they like, for WHATEVER they like, it is, afterall, THEIR business
personally i dont understand peoples fear of marijuana and feel the government has no right to prohibit or even regulate it
and i personally believe that what one does on their own time should be none of the business of the employer, unless they have reason to believe it is effecting ones work (such as burnout from drug abuse) but honestly it doesnt matter what i think, its the business's choice to hire/fire someone and getting the government involved in anyway is not only wrong, but is socialism and allowance of government in business will only lead toward tyranny

for advice: i would advise your friend to move on and find an employer that is willing to hire him even though he uses marijuana medically, for work should only ever be between the employer and the employee, and does not need government involvement unless someones life, liberty or property was endangered in the action, a company firing someone for smoking marijuana does not qualify as life, liberty or property being harmed and therefore i would advise your friend to simply get over it (not to say i dont sympathize with him, but this is simply NOT a matter for any sort of lawsuit or labor board bullshit)


Not to be read as politically charged statement this next part is simply about the constitution on state vs federal governments:
as to federal law trumping state law, according to the US CONSTITUTION the federal government and state governments are soveirgn seperate entities joined together via the contstitution via a FEDERATION, and the federal government is not SUPPOSED to have any authority within the states ESPECIALLY with things such as marijuana and is instead to deal with matters dealing with national security and foreign affairs, and NOT with things within the states... UNFORTUNATELY our country has been corrupted from the begginning, such is life as the two forces of persuasion and liberty vs coercion and tyranny fight against eachother as they have from the begginning of time
 
Brenda Groth
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Person in OP is now working at a much better job than he was fired from. He is making about $6 more an hour, unlimited overtime, profit sharing, monthly bonuses, 50 % matching on 401K and will have health ins after 6 mo. and even a week of vacation after 90 days..so he is HAPPY

They LOVE him at the new job as he is so experienced at what they need and dedicated (he had not missed a day of work in 6 years prior to being fired and worked 12 hour days or more for 7 days a week)

they figured at $6 more an hour they have a bargain,

yes he has to drive nearly 2 hours to work every day, but he will be looking for an apartment or something in that area and only come home to his house a couple times a week to take care of business up here, maybe get someone to live in his house...the gas cost will be about $800 a month..so it would be cheaper to rent something where the job is.
 
paul wheaton
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I'm going to lock this thread. I think it is fair to say that this topic is for the cider press.

 
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