Medical Marijuana in the workplace

Lysergaman

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Ive been diagnosed with an immunodeficiency that Ive been struggling with for my whole life. I got a medcard a couple years ago and have used cannabis to treat my nausea and lack of appetite daily. However, now Im old enough to get a job, and even though I live in California the laws regarding cannabis in the workplace are confusing. I realistically dont see myself stopping cannabis use, because it has been more helpful than any other medication without any serious side effects. I know it varies with the employer but are some jobs more cannabis friendly? Ive been looking into fields related to Chemistry and Pharmacology in particular. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

Thomas Davie

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Ive been diagnosed with an immunodeficiency that Ive been struggling with for my whole life. I got a medcard a couple years ago and have used cannabis to treat my nausea and lack of appetite daily. However, now Im old enough to get a job, and even though I live in California the laws regarding cannabis in the workplace are confusing. I realistically dont see myself stopping cannabis use, because it has been more helpful than any other medication without any serious side effects. I know it varies with the employer but are some jobs more cannabis friendly? Ive been looking into fields related to Chemistry and Pharmacology in particular. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Jobs that are more 'Cannabis friendly' usually tend to not be safety sensitive. So, Chemistry and/or Pharmacology would be classified in this area (chemicals, instrumentation, working with animals, etc).

I worked as a lab tech in Pharmacology for 7 1/2 years and a tech in Animal Sciences for 20 years before going on medical leave and then long term disability.

My last 7 years in Animal Science were filled with health problems and I used weed (eventually getting my medical license). But as *SOON* as I did, I contacted human resources, union, etc and made my legal Cannabis use known. I also let these departments know that I would not be coming in to work high or using on the job (if I felt ill I told them I'm just going home rather than compromising safety). My cannabis use was never an issue at work.

Using on the job? There were times when I would have liked to (puking @ work the last year before I left was not fun) - but no, it wouldn't have been safe.

Tom
 

Lysergaman

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Thanks for the input. I figured using cannabis while on the job would not be tolerated, but I am more concerned with failing a drug test after using cannabis during my off-hours. Out of curiosity, do you know if your experience is the typical one? Or if your employer is just very tolerant? I imagine the exact policies vary between different institutions, but I would be much more comfortable in pursuing this career if I knew that allowing medical marijuana use during off hours was standard practice.
 

Thomas Davie

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Thanks for the input. I figured using cannabis while on the job would not be tolerated, but I am more concerned with failing a drug test after using cannabis during my off-hours. Out of curiosity, do you know if your experience is the typical one? Or if your employer is just very tolerant? I imagine the exact policies vary between different institutions, but I would be much more comfortable in pursuing this career if I knew that allowing medical marijuana use during off hours was standard practice.
Just a guess, but I would say it was an atypical experience

-had 20+ yrs good work history before divulging my MJ use.
-had a union involved 'in case'.
-It's going to be legal recreationally in about 5 weeks; impending legalization was known when divulging my MJ use.


My MJ use always happened during non working hours and it was legally prescribed. As long as I didn't come to work high or reeking of pot there wasn't anything my employer could have done w/o facing legal troubles. Medical rights usually trump work issues (again, this is in Canada and probably doesn't apply elsewhere).


Actually, this career rather sucked shit considering I ended up low man on the totem pole and became responsible for euthanizing animals.


Tom
 

BeachBum4u

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Yes yes, this is definitely a concern of mine. I am in the process of becoming legal and although I have no intention of using at work, I do know enough about cannibas to know it stays in the body a pretty long time. What is one to do?
 

Thomas Davie

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I'm not sure about much clarification, but here goes.

The laws all over (state to state to country) are different. In Canada, if it is legal its supposed to be legal equally everywhere. Supposedly you can't get fired (or will not be able to be fired as of October 17th) for off duty Cannabis use providing that you are not still intoxicated when coming in to work *OR* if you are in a safety sensitive position.


I worked in the nutrition lab, Dept. of Animal Science at the University of Manitoba. At the time that I went on indefinite medical leave in May, 2017 my department did not have an MJ policy. But they did have an 'intoxication' policy in place. Summer, 2014 a guy was fired because he was caught swilling whiskey on the job. Immediate termination. I assume this is what will be put in place for MJ.


However with MJ, work would be forced to accommodate a person's medical use (the catch is within reason) on the job.


On any given day, I would work with animals, run gas chromatographs and use nitric, sulfuric, perchloric, acetic and other acids - as well as working with mycotoxins. That was classified as a safety sensitive position. There really isn't anything one can do other than not using on the job and ensuring you're not high when you come in to work. A good human resources dept. is also invaluable.


With my job, there was never a question of using while at work.


Tom


Biochemistry, Microbiology, Biology, Zoology, Physics, etc - what you could call the physical sciences are not likely going to ever be compatible with on job use. Reclassification of your position is a possibility, but unlikely.
 
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