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  1. #21
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    Variations on this have come up before, and I wrote about some of the perverse legal and economic consequences.

    It is, and likely will continue to be, legal for employers to demand that people not be impaired, and that they pass various tests, including some which show activity in the relatively distant past.

    You can expect that law and court cases and insurance issues will cause employment rules to become ever more finely tuned. The results may not be productive.

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    Okay Smoking, taking pain pills , glassy eyed , forgetful ( unusually *) , its a sign and things cannot be that way in this environment .

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    Quote Originally Posted by smalltime View Post
    I too hold the view that MJ is no worse than alcohol
    Oh my, that couldn't be farther from the truth...alcohol is as bad as heroin.

    I am a bit bias, having grown up around it, but don't kid yourself...until you have known someone who has gone through cirrhosis, you will have the illusion that alcohol is not bad...

    Cheers,
    Alan

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    Quote Originally Posted by traditional-tools View Post
    Oh my, that couldn't be farther from the truth...alcohol is as bad as heroin.

    I am a bit bias, having grown up around it, but don't kid yourself...until you have known someone who has gone through cirrhosis, you will have the illusion that alcohol is not bad...

    Cheers,
    Alan
    I've never taken heroin so can't comment, as for alcohol I've been dry over 25 years. Suffice to say you really wouldn't have wanted to know me when I drank.

    I use it as a joke, but I'm deadly serious when I say ''I wouldn't have the old Sami in the house.''

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    Well, I got some more information elsewhere that I think answers my question. The Massachusetts Bar Association has a writeup on this subject at Massachusetts Bar Association : The Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Law and the Workplace.

    One section states that:

    "Nothing in this law or regulation requires any accommodation of any on-site medical use of marijuana in any place of employment, school bus or on school grounds, in any youth center, in any correctional facility, or of smoking medical marijuana in any public place. Act, § 7(D); 105 CMR 725.650(B)(4).

    Nothing in this law or regulation requires any health insurance provider ... to reimburse any person for the expenses of the medical use of marijuana. Act, § 7(B); 105 CMR 725.650(B)(2).

    Nothing in 105 CMR 725.000 shall be construed to limit the applicability of other law as it pertains to the rights of ... employers … 105 CMR 725.650(A)
    ."

    It seems that drug testing is still legal along with workplace prohibitions. They did caution that "future court decisions and possible legislative revisions to the law may alter the landscape".

    They also advised employers to re-write their policies to state that marijuana use and possession is prohibited even for medical purposes.

    Thanks to those who offered input.

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    Regarding the welder, it was marijuana, not alcohol.

    Per Wikipedia on Flash Blindness:

    It is unclear whether pain is directly associated with flash blindness.[citation needed] Reaction to flash blindness can be discomforting and disorienting. The retina has no pain receptors.[6] Nonetheless, psychological pain, which activates the same pain centers in the brain[7] and therefore is just as real, may very well be present.

    All I know is what I was told, it certainly could be a legend, but I heard it first hand.

  9. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenbuggy View Post
    I think its ridiculous to discriminate for prior drug use (considering THC will cause you to fail a drug test up to 45 days after ingestion, and long after the buzz is gone, whereas far more dangerous drugs will be gone from a persons system in 48 hours) for a person who shows up to work sober and stays sober throughout the workday.

    Similarly, I had a cocktail last night but I showed up to work this morning dead sober. It's one thing if I show up to work hungover regularly. If I'm a good worker what business is it of my boss if I had a rum and coke long after I had clocked out for the day?
    What you are referring to is a process called clearance. Some really nasty drugs clear faster than THC, as I think THC is absorbed in to fat tissue and hair and such. But a blood test can identify levels of THC that are effective (you're high) or not.

    Short term, if one is an astute manager, one should be able to weed out those folks whose use lowers their productivity. Given that chronic weed use has been shown to lower IQ (by about 8 points) long term, the effects should become more and more apparent.

    There is the issue of addiction. The lastest research shows that MJ IS addictive in a signficant fraction of chronic users. And we are getting articles in the newspaper here about the idiotics stealing stuff (man hole covers, copper, etc.) to support that addiction. So your tools and fixtures are at risk from these morons. I would worry about someone going out on break, having to toke up, then coming back in and making a big error (turning the end of a rod in a lathe, with a ten foot section hanging out the left end of the spindle, leaving a key in a chuck, bypassing a lockout, etc.).

    Regarding prescription drugs or booze, sure, a manager has to be aware of anyone who is subpar, for any reason. But this doesn't give moron-weed a free pass.

    One of the things that blows my mind is that weed has similar tars and such, and combustion products similar to tabacco. So we have the whole anti-tabacco-nazi movement fighting smoking. And now we create a whole new legal product that will result in cancers and cardiovascular deaths. Effin morons.

    I wouldn't mind so much if the folks that used went off and got stupid and impaired their long and short-term health by themselves. But it pisses me off that 1) my insurance cost is going to rise to PAY for their medical MJ, and 2) insurance costs will rise to pay for related cancers and CV impact, and 3) stoners are going to end up going to work and WILL hurt themselves (don't care, except my UC payments will pay them for their stupidity) and others (do care), and 4) we seem to have become a culture that worships hedonistic, selfish acts, rather than acts that contribute to others and improve the lives of others.

    I mean I like a party as much (ok, more actually) as the next guy, we do seem to have lost focus on personal responsibility in the haze of blue smoke. I remember when a bunch of friends met in Las Vegas when I was younger. One guy had just lost his job. His solution was to buy some coke and blow money gambling. His brother and others had to pay for his ticket home. The image stuck in my mind.

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  11. #28
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    Marijuana is just getting added to a long list of things that some folks find pleasurable and other folks find screws up their lives. I'm not aware of any law that insists that drunk or stoned folks be permitted to operate machinery -- and we may eventually need a budalyzer test.

    I also don't know of anyone who's better because they have a drinking, smoking, drugging, hooker, hookah, stoning, texting, sexting, Angry Birds, or whatever habit. That said, a majority of folks manage to try at least some risky behaviors without having it ruin their lives. How we help keep various addictions from trashing lives is a much larger question; but not much related to true medical marijuana use.

    As for marijuana and cancer -- I'm a cancer patient who did a bit of research before deciding it didn't make much sense for me. Past periods of intense pain were controlled more or less by equally noxious drugs that I'd never consider operating machinery with. When on an IV in the hospital or back at home, I was fortunate in being able to dial up the pain killers as needed and dial them right back as I felt better. Not everyone will be so lucky; and marijuana seems to be a big help for some.

    Drug companies would love to have a monopoly on selling the active ingredients; however what little research I saw suggests that the benefits probably come at least partly from combinations of hundreds of compounds in the plant. In other words, cancer patients who might benefit will probably be better served by something that's bred, grown, and eaten or smoked rather than a pill that's synthesized and popped. Kind of like the latest research on vitamins, which suggests they don't do all that much good compared to just eating healthy meals.

    My main point is that while marijuana is the topic du jour, we might do better having our kids DNA tested for propensities for addiction (soon possible?) and generally stressing the delights of such things as sports-induced endorphins as having much healthier side effects than cigarettes, alcohol binges, and various drugs aimed solely at a high.

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    Alcohol, recreational drugs including cannabis, heavy pain reducing medication, any medication causing drowsiness or possible inattention should not be consumed by anyone using machines or other equipment in any shop doing metal work or woodworking. No political discussion is necessary. End of story. Are companies going to have to do drug testing at the door to avoid accidents and possible lawsuits? The whole thing is a non-issue, keep M.M. users out of machine shops, drunks too.

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    What I remember hearing about MJ long ago was that the good thing about it was that it cancelled the nausea caused by chemotherapy. That's all I heard it was good for, medically.

    Nothing about pain treatment or anything else. Not sure when it became a treatment for all this other stuff.

    Myself, if I had chemo and was nauseous, I'd be the first one to try smoking it. I don't smoke anything... detest cigarettes/smoking in general, but if it'd make me feel better I'd do it.

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    Re arc burn, I have personal experience with it, a mild case, but all I ever want. I was witness to a much worse case and have seen someone literally rolling on the ground screaming. Arc burn is insidious and by the time your eyes start to hurt, you are in deep trouble. In the case mentioned, he was welding without a mask and brushed off my objections because it wasn't bothering him. He woke up the next morning in intense pain and I had to lead him to an opthamologist with his eyes closed. He wound up with some visual impairment. Everyone who has had it describes it the same way- like having sand poured in your eyes continuously. I have no trouble believing that a drunk could ruin his vision before he realized it.

    Re drugs, part of my standard orientation lecture has always been that I don't care what he does away from work as long as it doesn't affect his performance on the job. If he shows up stoned or drunk, he is gone. No discussion, no excuses, no second chances. If he wants to sue me, he can go ahead, but it will not change my attitude.

    Bill

    After posting, I remembered when I had to make 44 silk screens, which are exposed with an arc lamp. Now I have a NuArc platemaker that keeps the arc confined, but then I was using an open arc. It was mid winter when we are looking pale, but my mother started the standard mommy routine

    "Do you feel all right?"

    "Yes, I feel fine."

    "Are you sure?"

    "Yes I'm sure."

    "You don't look good."

    "All right, WHAT doesn't look right?"

    "Your face is red."

    Then I finally realized what it was all about, I had a sunburn in February.

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  23. #34
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    If someone needs to take marijuana for a medical condition, and was able to convince a doctor that is the case, I would find it hard to believe that they would be safe around a machine until their condition resolves, under the influence or not. Looking at what these cards are given for, severe pain, nausea, glaucoma, chemotherapy, etc. I think would all be major risks and distractions around heavy equipment. Dealing with this would fall into how your company handles sick leave and disability.

    If they are under the care of a doctor who prescribed any painkiller, marijuana or otherwise, that doctor should also have the sense to write a note for the employer detailing necessary leave or altered working conditions. If they do not, you are within your rights to ask the employee have such a medical exam, and provide you that documentation. You can ask for that exam if it relates to the ability to perform work duties, and given the machine placards, manual warnings, and OSHA rules about working under the influence, this certainly relates.

    Recreational use is a matter individual companies will have to decide how to handle, but medical marijuana is a medical issue, and there is an established pipeline for dealing with that. Someone who is on pain pills for an injury has to take time off, use up sick days, and potentially be terminated if they cannot return to their duties; their prescription is not a free pass, neither is the card for marijuana.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LFLondon View Post
    Alcohol, recreational drugs including cannabis, heavy pain reducing medication, any medication causing drowsiness or possible inattention should not be consumed by anyone using machines or other equipment in any shop doing metal work or woodworking. No political discussion is necessary. End of story. Are companies going to have to do drug testing at the door to avoid accidents and possible lawsuits? The whole thing is a non-issue, keep M.M. users out of machine shops, drunks too.
    The whole thing is a non-issue. Keep ANYONE who is impaired out of any position where they are in danger, or put others in danger.

    I have known a lot of functional stoners. I am not one. Nor am I a functional drinker. Hell, some days I'm barely a functioning breather. You can't cater policies because someone is capable of operating a machine stoned, or someone is capable of welding stoned.

    With that, whether you have a drug policy, a drug testing requirement, including the requirement to test following ANY workplace accidents....well, I'd leave that up to your lawyer who is in direct communication with your workmans comp insurance provider. You should be hiring and firing on competence and production. Anything outside the realm, pay the money and run it by the lawyer.

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    I smoked pot when I was a teenager.If it was legal,I have to wonder if I would of.

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    Here's the problem as I see it.......... more and more states are legalizing marijuana use. If the substance is legal in your state (for medical or otherwise), then how do you drug test and LEGALLY refrain from hiring a potential employee ??? Your employees have every right to use substances that are legal on their own time. One of the problems with marijuana, as compared to alcohol, is there is no impairment test that I know of, unlike being able to test alcohol in the blood stream. So, how do you know if someone is impaired ??? How can you prove that the employee smoked an hour ago, or last night ??? Without a test, this is a sticky situation.

    My personal feelings on the matter are....... I think it needs to be legalized and taxed. I see marijuana use as being no worse than drinking a few beers. However, I disagree with a lot of folks that say that it's non-addictive. That is bullshit. Every single person I know that smokes the stuff can't get through the day without it..... much like cigarette smokers. On the other hand, I know an awful lot of beer drinkers that can't get through the day without drinking something either. Let's face it..... a lot of folks have habit forming issues.


    Frank

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  30. #38
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    I like whay Bob and Peter say here :
    bob marley & peter tosh Legalize it!!!!! - YouTube
    Rob

  31. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockfish View Post
    Here's the problem as I see it.......... more and more states are legalizing marijuana use. If the substance is legal in your state (for medical or otherwise), then how do you drug test and LEGALLY refrain from hiring a potential employee ??? Your employees have every right to use substances that are legal on their own time.
    It's still a schedule 1 narcotic, criminalized by the fed. Until that changes, you have zero problem firing based upon a positive drug test. State law in Michigan specifically excludes the employee from any workplace protection due to medicinal marijuana use.

    One of the problems with marijuana, as compared to alcohol, is there is no impairment test that I know of, unlike being able to test alcohol in the blood stream. So, how do you know if someone is impaired ??? How can you prove that the employee smoked an hour ago, or last night ??? Without a test, this is a sticky situation.
    Drug screens will still show expected intoxication, it's just more expensive. It's not a sticky situation. Impaired is impaired, as an employer, you can send an employee home for no reason whatsoever. In the state of Michigan, you can also fire them for no reason whatsoever. "Your services are no longer needed"

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmach View Post
    I smoked pot when I was a teenager.If it was legal,I have to wonder if I would of.
    But... the question is ...............Did you inhale?
    Rob

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