Marijuana And The Workplace

 
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Old 09-17-2017, 08:58 PM   #1
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Marijuana And The Workplace


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Twenty nine states and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana laws. There are at least fifteen other states with marijuana legislation making its way to a governorís desk. Eight states have legalized recreational use. Since this post is for contractor/employers, Iíll skip naming those. But anyone heading to the West Coast for a vacation has some new options for relaxing. Recently, the National Council on Compensation Insurance published a series of articles on this topic, and we took a look at those for you in this post. For a link to the articles, click here.
https://www.ncci.com/Articles/Pages/...n-Insurer.aspx. For a quick re-cap and a few other ideas, continue reading.

Employee Use

According to NCCI, employees are increasingly turning to medical marijuana for pain management. There is a very good reason for this: medical pot might be as good or better than the opioids used in painkillers. Because marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, good data from valid research is hard to gather. But itís not hard to imagine a lot of people choosing medical marijuana if they can avoid dangerous, addictive drugs like the ones in pain pills. An often overlooked topic for employers in this discussion is how workers comp will cover claims for pain management. If there is a better pain management solution than opioids, will workers comp pay for it?

Reimbursement

Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, so it cannot be classified as a drug for standardized reimbursement schedules. Nevertheless, some states have approved reimbursements under workers comp coverage for medical marijuana. According to National Council on Compensation Insurance, Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New Mexico have all approved the responsible use and reimbursement of medical marijuana. A few states have done the opposite though, and said medical marijuana may not be reimbursed. Overall, It looks like it will have to become legal at the federal level in some form so it can hit the formularies and be covered by workers comp everywhere. But as legal marijuana becomes more widely accepted, it makes sense to guess the industry will gravitate toward medical marijuana and away from more problematic opioids .

Testing

Drug free workplaces are an important feature of any safety program. Legal marijuana use places employers in a difficult position if a drug test comes back positive but the employee was not intoxicated. Employers who use drug testing to maintain a drug free workplace need to think about this before the first incident. A zero tolerance policy could mean losing one of your best workers over a postive test that detected use from several days before. The topic of intoxication and how long a user is impaired is far from settled, but not new. For information about legal limits of blood content in states and countries where use is legal, click here: https://injepijournal.springeropen.c...621-014-0026-z.

Recent Use

Oral fluid testing is an increasingly common way to look for drug use on the jobsite. The tests are less expensive, they can be easily administered after accidents or before hire, and they can be done on the spot in front of the boss. But beyond convenience and cost, these tests have the added feature of looking for recent use. That means youíre less likely to get a positive result from legal use that took place sufficiently long enough before scheduled work times. You can start looking into that test here:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1579288/.


Conclusion

The fact is, medical marijuana is still illegal in every corner of the US. It canít be on any drug reimbursement plans, and the federal law makes it hard to carve out a consistent plan for how to adapt to legal marijuana use from an employer perspective. It might be tempting to put your head in the sand and continue as if nothingís changed. But some employers are looking for ways to safely adapt to the new age of legal pot. One strength construction contractors have is that they figure things out in a way that makes the most sense. We look forward to watching the industry find solutions to this interesting issue. If you have any ideas or thoughts, comment here. If you would like to discuss this or any insurance related topic with a licensed pro, give us a call. And as always, be safe.
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Last edited by Cricket; 09-23-2017 at 05:06 PM. Reason: fixed image placement
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:30 PM   #2
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Re: Marijuana And The Workplace


Yeah well for employees subject to any sort of federal drug testing like DOT testing etc. etc. airline employees, transportation, truck drivers, railroad. It doesn't matter what's legal or not, under the current urine test you could've smoked marijuana a week ago and still piss hot.

At the railroad we are subject to both random an incident based drug testing so even though marijuana maybe legal to smoke both medically and recreationally I still can't use it because I could get a drug test at any point.

At least until they come up with a better test than the urine "wiz quiz" that tells if I am high right now as opposed to the remnants that are in my system


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Old 09-17-2017, 09:54 PM   #3
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So if it's in your system I don't want you working on my train regardless of how safe you feel you are.


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Old 09-17-2017, 10:18 PM   #4
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Re: Marijuana And The Workplace


It has nothing to do with how safe you feel you are because the effects of marijuana are long gone however it still is in your system unlike alcohol where the test measures exactly how much effect the alcohol has on your body at the moment of the test.

A more accurate test is a saliva test rather that a urine test

urine tests do not measure the parent compound, they measure the by-product compounds known as "metabolites", which do not correspond with impairment levels.




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Old 09-17-2017, 10:42 PM   #5
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It has nothing to do with how safe you feel you are because the effects of marijuana are long gone however it still is in your system unlike alcohol where the test measures exactly how much effect the alcohol has on your body at the moment of the test.

A more accurate test is a saliva test rather that a urine test

urine tests do not measure the parent compound, they measure the by-product compounds known as "metabolites", which do not correspond with impairment levels.




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It doesn't matter, I get to set the conditions of hire. Here's a scenario. Train engineer derails the train, driver tests positive for MJ. How do you think that will play out in court?

I want workers that NEVER test positive.


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Old 09-17-2017, 10:45 PM   #6
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Re: Marijuana And The Workplace


If you can't work without needing medical MJ you are not well enough to work for me. And it's illegal in all 50 states.


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Old 09-17-2017, 10:47 PM   #7
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Re: Marijuana And The Workplace


The Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution (Article VI, Clause 2) establishes that the Constitution, federal laws made pursuant to it, and treaties made under its authority, constitute the supreme law of the land.


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Old 09-17-2017, 11:28 PM   #8
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Re: Marijuana And The Workplace


Rather have the guy be stoned than drunk.

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Old 09-17-2017, 11:34 PM   #9
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It's not about which one is better, it's about liability. I want neither.


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Old 09-18-2017, 06:10 AM   #10
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They are about to make it legal in Canada.

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Old 09-18-2017, 07:28 AM   #11
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Even if you are not stoned you will still fail...it is like drinking one beer on Saturday and failing a alcohol test on Tuesday...we all know that one beer that was drank on Saturday is not affecting your judgement on Tuesday but the current test for weed works that way

I agree with you I don't want any impaired employees or coworkers.


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Old 09-18-2017, 09:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windycity View Post
Even if you are not stoned you will still fail...it is like drinking one beer on Saturday and failing a alcohol test on Tuesday...we all know that one beer that was drank on Saturday is not affecting your judgement on Tuesday but the current test for weed works that way

I agree with you I don't want any impaired employees or coworkers.


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Old 09-18-2017, 03:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Californiadecks View Post
The Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution (Article VI, Clause 2) establishes that the Constitution, federal laws made pursuant to it, and treaties made under its authority, constitute the supreme law of the land.


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I understand how important this is. If federal law changes and legal pot use becomes the law of the land, It would not be surprising if our transportation infrastructure continues the standard of no marijuana ever.
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Old 09-18-2017, 03:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windycity View Post
Even if you are not stoned you will still fail...it is like drinking one beer on Saturday and failing a alcohol test on Tuesday...we all know that one beer that was drank on Saturday is not affecting your judgement on Tuesday but the current test for weed works that way

I agree with you I don't want any impaired employees or coworkers.


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If I get in a wreck and test positive for any alcohol I'm liable. Even if I'm not drunk. Why would it be any different with pot?


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Old 09-18-2017, 04:54 PM   #15
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If I get in a wreck and test positive for any alcohol I'm liable. Even if I'm not drunk. Why would it be any different with pot?


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You can have alcohol in your system and not be drunk. As long as you are under the legal limit for the state you can legally drive. What you're missing is the fact that the current test for marijuana does not accurately measure the effects on your system. It just confirms that you used it in the past

Just like I said in my fictitious example using alcohol. We all know that if you drink a beer on Saturday that single beer will not affect your decisions on Monday and if they test you on Monday you will have no signs of alcohol However with marijuana that is not the case. The effect of the THC is long gone after 12 hours however it still shows up as a positive test many days later

Another problem with the urine test is for example let's say I smoke marijuana for the first time right now and cause a major accident and get drug tested a few hours later it probably will show up as a negative (passed test) meaning I can pass it even though I'm high as a kite....even though my decision making is impaired, it does not show up in a urine test right away because it takes a while for it to circulate in my system. And it also takes a long time to circulate out

what truly needs to be done is the feds either need to decide to legalize it and let the states control if it's legal, or they need say it's illegal on the federal level and shut the industry down. The grey area needs to be defined. There is a thriving industry that is cash only and cannot use banks because its illegal federally however it is pretty apparent that weed is here to stay



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Old 09-18-2017, 05:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windycity View Post
You can have alcohol in your system and not be drunk. As long as you are under the legal limit for the state you can legally drive. What you're missing is the fact that the current test for marijuana does not accurately measure the effects on your system. It just confirms that you used it in the past

Just like I said in my fictitious example using alcohol. We all know that if you drink a beer on Saturday that single beer will not affect your decisions on Monday and if they test you on Monday you will have no signs of alcohol However with marijuana that is not the case. The effect of the THC is long gone after 12 hours however it still shows up as a positive test many days later

Another problem with the urine test is for example let's say I smoke marijuana for the first time right now and cause a major accident and get drug tested a few hours later it probably will show up as a negative (passed test) meaning I can pass it even though I'm high as a kite....even though my decision making is impaired, it does not show up in a urine test right away because it takes a while for it to circulate in my system. And it also takes a long time to circulate out

what truly needs to be done is the feds either need to decide to legalize it and let the states control if it's legal, or they need say it's illegal on the federal level and shut the industry down. The grey area needs to be defined. There is a thriving industry that is cash only and cannot use banks because its illegal federally however it is pretty apparent that weed is here to stay



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In this state you get in a wreck with any measurable alcohol, it's your fault. Doesn't matter if your drunk or not. Cop smells alcohol you will be tested.

You blow through a red light kill someone you test positive for MJ you will be sued. Again it's not just criminal it's civil as well. I require my workers to be well enough you never need to take MJ. I can not hire you because of a medical condition, If I BELIEVE you are a liabilty because of it.

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Old 09-18-2017, 05:29 PM   #17
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Re: Marijuana And The Workplace


In this state when you sign in the dotted line for the privilege to drive you give permission to be blood tested. They can also get a warrant if needed.

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Old 09-21-2017, 01:49 AM   #18
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I thought everyone I hire was either drunk or stoned I was wrong their just dumbasses.

I know a carpenter that does better work if he takes his morning and noon puff. I also know a carpenter that drinks from morning till bedtime I have no idea when he's straight he just sucks all the time.

The most unlikely people smoke pot on a 24/7 basis and you would never know, others it's quite obvious their IQ drops in half but it wasn't very high to begin with.

Over the years I've had them all, drunks, coke heads, heroin addicts, meth heads, pot heads, the only ones acceptable would be a pot smoker.
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Old 09-22-2017, 04:51 PM   #19
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Short term memory loss....Gee I don't know how that could be a problem

I watched a guy almost lose his foot because some bud head forgot to tighten the lifting clamp on a huge steel girt. I beat his ass and drug him to the job trailer where they tested him.....sure enough he'd been smokin that chit....you could even smell it on him
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:32 PM   #20
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I have zero tolerance as well..you want to make excuses, make em to the unemployment office.

Hell, tobacco is already taboo and now people are moving to smoke something else. A pothead/addict will find every study imaginable to support their habbit and make every argument for it ...

I honestly get sick of hearing about it. I can't have my tobacco, you can't have your weed. And I am pretty sure they made the same claims for tobacco that they are now making for weed.

My sister's boyfriend got high and jumped off a bridge to commit suicide, problem was he survived. In the hospital I told him to smoke some more, after all it cures cancer/aids/ends world hunger/and everything else so why couldn't it fix all his bones and make him walk again. Oddly enough, he no longer likes me...

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