Man in California Fired for failing drug test...he was prescribed to medical weed.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/24/AR2008012402163.html

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 24 -- The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that employers can fire workers who test positive for marijuana even if they have a note from a doctor recommending its use for medical reasons.

The 5 to 2 ruling came in a state that was the first to legalize cannabis for medical use but has followed up with ambiguity and ambivalence about making it a reality.

In the latest ruling, the high court said a Sacramento company had the right to fire Gary Ross in 2001 after a routine drug test came back positive for marijuana. Ross showed RagingWire Inc. a copy of his physician's recommendation to smoke the drug to relieve chronic back pain from three lumbar vertebrae fractured when he fell off the wing of an F-16 as an Air Force mechanic in 1983.

"From 1999 when my doctor started recommending medical marijuana, I can stop that spasm from getting into a knot and I don't need any pain medication," said Ross, adding he smokes only when he experiences spasms. "Prior to 1999 I was carted off in an ambulance a half a dozen times. Since 1999, only once."

But the company fired him, arguing that drug use was illegal under federal law.

"What are they supposed to do?" said Deborah La Fetra of the Pacific Legal Foundation, which filed a brief supporting the company. "Employers are held liable all the time when drunk or stoned employees cause trouble, either in the workplace or driving home. That's one of the reasons why the drug-free workplace is so important."

The high court largely agreed. "No state law could completely legalize marijuana for medical purposes because the drug remains illegal under federal law, even for medical users," Justice Kathryn Werdegar wrote for the majority.

"Nothing in the text or history of the Compassionate Use Act suggests the voters intended the measure to address the respective rights and obligations of employers and employees."

Advocates argued that the state legislature did exactly that, however, when it mentioned the workplace in the 2004 law refining the historic ballot initiative passed by voters in 1996.

In a friend-of-the-court brief filed in support of Ross, five current and former lawmakers quoted statutory language stating that employers were not obliged to tolerate marijuana use on the job. The lawmakers said that amounted to an implicit statement that people who used marijuana medically would, in fact, be expected to have jobs.

Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) immediately announced he would introduce legislation to make the right explicit.

"It really has less to do with whether someone is intoxicated at work than it has to do with the ability of someone to medicate themselves away from work and not during working hours," said Kris Hermes, spokesman for Americans for Safe Access, the Oakland advocacy group that represented Ross.
Lame.
 
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So many people are still living in the 50s.

"Is that a doobie, young man?"
 
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i'm going with the employers on this one:

if it's written into his contract, that no alcohol, or drugs are to be consumed before his shift starts, or during work, then he shouldn't be stupid enough to think he can do otherwise, regardless of doctors orders.

he certainly should have approached his management BEFORE being cought, with his doctors prescription, and made them aware of his condition.

much like any other kind of "remedy", all medicines for the purpose of allowing someone to be comfortable in the workplace, whether they are analgiesics for migrains, or whatever, usually have to be logged properly, as they won't be included on the workplaces COSHH manifest (dunno if you have that in the states, but it means Control Of Substances Harmful to Health). and since his drug wasn't logged properly, in a way that could be monitored by his superiors, it ammounts to neglegence, and gross misconduct.


sorry, just being an ex-manager here.
 
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There are plenty of legal medications that you should never take while on the job. I don't think this is all that different.
 
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So let me get this straight... did he smoke it while on the job? or did he smoke it at home and they found out?
 
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So let me get this straight... did he smoke it while on the job? or did he smoke it at home and they found out?
He took a piss test, so I would assume he's smoking at home.

Personally I don't see what the big fuss is. I have friends that get high out of their minds on their free time, and still remain highly productive in the workplace. Let him do what he wants, it's not hurting anybody. As long as he's not smoking at work, that is. That aside, he has a medical prescription. He shouldn't have to lose his job because of that.
 
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Yeah thats retarded then.. i mean if i was a manager, and something like this showed up, I would let it go. Now.. if he was smoking at work, or doing it at home started to hurt his productivity, then I would take charge and do something about it.
 
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A wise man once said, "Do the partying at home."
 
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Even if he does it at home, if he's coming in to work stoned and something bad happens involving him, the company is held responsible.

Hypothetically if he rocks up to work stoned and catches his hand in some machine and has it mostly chewed up, the company will have a massive negligence lawsuit on their hands. I'm all for smoking cones but doing it before a shift is just dumb.
 
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Even if he does it at home, if he's coming in to work stoned and something bad happens involving him, the company is held responsible.

Hypothetically if he rocks up to work stoned and catches his hand in some machine and has it mostly chewed up, the company will have a massive negligence lawsuit on their hands. I'm all for smoking cones but doing it before a shift is just dumb.
Well yeah.. that too. I meant that as long as he isn't smoking weed at work or stoned there at all.. then thats fine with me. As long as he didn't become a liability that is..
 
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I think the point is, he was a liability, thats why he was fired.
 
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I don't really agree with why he was a liability... but alright.
 
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If you employed this man and stood to lose a **** load of money if he injured himself or anybody else affiliated with your business because he showed up to work stoned. You'd fire him too, I don't think its a difficult concept.
 
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If you employed this man and stood to lose a **** load of money if he injured himself or anybody else affiliated with your business because he showed up to work stoned. You'd fire him too, I don't think its a difficult concept.
Yeah i agree with that... but the thing is.. he never showed up to work stoned. Now if he did, then I would fire him ASAP. Thats my perspective of the story.

It doesn't really matter though, i don't wanna argue about it, its kinda pointless.
 
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I don't blame 'em for firing him. THC lowers reaction-time, learning-capacity and memory some time after it's been used. If they've got it for medicinal purposes, it's their duty to inform their employer.
 

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Thet hing I want to point out isn't whether or not the person in question is showing up to work blazed or not, because that's stupid to show up to work under the influence of anything.

The thing is, people like that have their muscles relaxed by the weed, so they can go to work in a few hours and not be in excruciating pain all day.

But this form of [lega] medication (in california) had him ultiately fail a drug test that he got fired over.

the retarded thing is the whole state law and federal laws interlinking is what makes it suck, it may be legal medically in cali, but the states as a whole it's illegal in so THAT takes precedence.

Extremely retarded.
 
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Thet hing I want to point out isn't whether or not the person in question is showing up to work blazed or not, because that's stupid to show up to work under the influence of anything.

The thing is, people like that have their muscles relaxed by the weed, so they can go to work in a few hours and not be in excruciating pain all day.

But this form of [lega] medication (in california) had him ultiately fail a drug test that he got fired over.

the retarded thing is the whole state law and federal laws interlinking is what makes it suck, it may be legal medically in cali, but the states as a whole it's illegal in so THAT takes precedence.

Extremely retarded.
You just want them to nationally legalize marijuana :p
 
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Well, if a president ends the 'Drug War' they'll HAVE to legalize it.
 
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Oh please legalize, its better than alcohol from many standpoints including negative ones, sucks for the guy but I can understand the companies position. They would never know if he was high when he came in to work, most people who smoke on a regular basis know how to hide it well.
 

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I love Digg (or was that Reddit..?).
 

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